Shepparton’s state seat will be one of the VFF’s targets in a pre-election campaign designed to set the agenda.
The agricultural organization wants a focus on regional roads and railways, housing, health care, biosecurity, jobs and environmental stewardship – as well as a range of agricultural issues – ahead of the November state poll.
Two seats of independents – Mildura and Shepparton, which the VFF believe will get the attention of the opposition – have been identified.
Speaking at the VFF’s Grains and Livestock Conference, VFF President Emma Germano said she was proud to present a positive agenda focused on delivering benefits to farmers and regional communities.
“The VFF has put together a policy platform that speaks not only about the issues farmers face, but also the issues facing all regional communities,” she said.
The VFF is promising a digital media campaign and a town hall-style forum in the Shepparton electorate, but Ms Germano said they wouldn’t tell people who to vote for.
The VFF intends to present its problems to the candidates and assess the responses.
Ms Germano said Shepparton and Mildura had been identified as likely to face strong opposition campaigns and were two key agricultural areas.
She said farmers would actively lobby candidates ahead of the election.
“The VFF will be active statewide during these elections. Where we can, we will be on the ground in fringe voters spreading the message that regional Victoria deserves a fair chance.
“Marginal seats like Ripon, Polwarth, Bass, Nepean, Eildon, South Barwon, Mildura and Shepparton are all on our list of target seats.
“Our approach will be to run a sophisticated campaign using digital media to speak directly to voters in these seats.”
Ms Germano concluded by encouraging farmers to take a stand and make their voices heard in the elections.
“We are committed to ensuring that regional Victoria is at the center of these elections, as well as working with all parties and candidates to create a brighter future for our state.”