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Agriculture job cuts leaves regional Victoria in the lurch

The State Labor Government’s ‘budget savings’ plan will axe a further 85 jobs from Victoria’s agriculture department, slashing close to 10 per cent of the agriculture workforce.

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish said this will mean less services for farmers, and disruption to development initiatives that could boost our farmer’s profitability and sustainability. All while Victorians continue to be impacted by food shortages and major disruptions to the food supply chain.

Ms McLeish said, “The city-centric Andrews Labor Government has cut 109 agriculture jobs this year alone. It is a disgrace.”

“These jobs cuts couldn’t come at a worse time for Victorian food and fibre producers. The $17.8 billion food and fibre sector is crucial to recover and rebuild Victoria’s economy after a tumultuous three years.”

“Costs are skyrocketing, putting massive financial pressure on our hard-working farmers who will now get less support from under-resourced State Government services.”

After cutting millions last year from biosecurity measures to fight fruit fly and axing efforts to strengthen trade and global engagement it’s clear the Andrews Labor Government is no champion for our farmers or regional Victorians.

Last year’s State Budget slashed nearly $285 million from regional development and $61.3 million was butchered from the agriculture budget.

Ms McLeish continues, “Regional Victorians continue to be short-changed. They are being slugged the highest taxes in the country. They’re getting less and paying more.”

“We need to support our hard-working farming community, not take their jobs away.”

Ms McLeish said positive measures to employ more Victorians – not job cuts – will be key to recover and rebuild from three years of pandemic.

To date, the Andrews Labor Government has refused to detail what services, biosecurity initiatives or research and development programs will be impacted by Labor’s cuts to agriculture.


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