Why farmers should be excused from paying rates
DAVID Littleproud is calling for farmers and drought-affected small businesses to be excused from paying council rates.
The Minister for Agriculture and Member for Maranoa has written to all state premiers and territory chief ministers with the request.
Mr Littleproud has also asked that drought-affected farmers paying leasehold to state governments be forgiven those payments.
"One of the things farmers constantly raise with me is whether the State Government can relieve them of their rates,” he said.
"Rates are often a huge expense for farmers, and with no income coming in, paying them can be very hard.
"This would provide immediate, practical relief to communities hurting from drought.”
Mr Littleproud said state governments should pay the rates on behalf of farmers and small businesses to local councils, who were also struggling due to the drought.
"The Federal Government is investing $7 billion into drought all up and it's time the states helped farmers with rates,” he said.
"Farmers produce the food we eat and we need to help them through tough times.”