The state seat of Shepparton will be one of the VFF’s targets in a pre-election campaign designed to set the agenda.
The farming body wants a focus on regional road and rail, housing, healthcare, biosecurity, jobs and environmental management — as well as a range of agricultural issues — ahead of November’s state poll.
Two seats held by independents — Mildura and Shepparton, which the VFF believes will be the focus of the Opposition’s attention — 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 that focused on delivering for farmers and regional communities.
“The VFF has pulled together a policy platform that doesn’t just speak to the issues farmers are facing, but the issues faced by 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 would not be telling people who to vote for.
The VFF intends to present its issues to the candidates and assess the responses.
Ms Germano said Shepparton and Mildura had been identified because there was likely to be strong campaigns from the Opposition and they were two key agricultural areas.
She said farmers would be active in lobbying candidates ahead of the election.
“The VFF will be active across the state during this election. Where we can, we will be on the ground in marginal electorates pushing the message that regional Victoria deserves a fair go.
“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 at the election.
“We are committed to ensuring regional Victoria is front and center at this election, and equally to working with all parties and candidates to deliver a better future for our state.”