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Costly levy increase for farmers

Costly levy increase for farmers

Farmers fear the costly implications of  Natural Resources Management levy increases set to come into effect on July 1.

State Parliament’s Natural Resources Committee signed off on land and irrigation water charges, of $6.8 million, to be used for environmental programmes. 

Small increases of $41 are expected for city residents, but the same can’t be said for farmers whose high-valued land is expected to be largely affected by the increases.

Mr Joe Keynes, a farmer of Keyneton said that many may be unaware of the impact that it will have on land owners. In particular, those who live in NRM’s Murray Darling region, who will be experiencing a 150 per cent increase. 

Mr Keynes explains that the NRM levy is not new. Rather, the council have collected NRM levy payments for at least a decade. 

“Originally the levy was relatively small, but 150 per cent makes it reasonably significant,” he said.

The levy is rated on the capital value of the land, which Mr Keynes said will have a considerable impact on farmers who own large quantities of land. 

Mr Keynes explains that the water management charges go to the Department of Environment, and landowners are currently unaware of what the charges are being utilised for. 

He believes that the levy increase will cause a decrease in voluntary work within the NRM.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.