Wednesday 21 March 2018
Liberal Nationals support deer meat for pet food industry
A Liberal Nationals Government will work with hunting groups and pet food processors to expand Victoria’s pet food processing program to include deer.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the Liberal Nationals recognised the role hunters play in controlling problem deer numbers and also saw an opportunity to further support Victoria’s pet meat processing industry.
Mr Walsh said Victoria’s deer population needed appropriate management to limit negative impacts on public and private land.
“Introduced deer populations must be managed, both for environment protection and also for safety on our roads,” Mr Walsh said.
“Expanding Victoria’s pet food industry to include deer meat makes sense because it makes productive use of hunted deer that may otherwise go to waste and it also supports jobs and investment in our hunting and pet food processing sectors.”
Record numbers of deer were hunted in 2016, with Victoria’s 35,000 licenced hunters recording nearly 100,000 deer – almost twice the average since 2009. In the same year, deer hunters contributed $142.1 million for Victoria’s economy.
Both the Australian Deer Association and the Victorian Farmers Federation have expressed support for expanding the pet food industry to include deer.
A Liberal Nationals’ Government would work with hunting groups and pet food processors to support control of problem deer on private and public land and subsequent use of controlled deer carcasses as commercial pet food.
Mr Walsh said similar to the Liberal Nationals support for making the kangaroo pet food trial permanent, including deer meat in the pet food program would be good for regional jobs.
“Daniel Andrews is standing in the way of new regional industry because he is scared of growing support for the Greens in Labor’s inner-city electorates,” Mr Walsh said.
“The pet food program is common sense. It makes use of a resource that would otherwise go to waste, creating jobs and investment in regional communities.
“Only the Liberal Nationals support our hunters and will give our pet food processors investment certainty by making the kangaroo pet food trial permanent and expanding the program to include deer.”
Thursday 22 February 2018
First, Luke Donnellan denigrated and disrespected country Victorians. Now he is straight out lying to us.
Asked today in Parliament if Labor’s botched placement of wire rope barriers would result in workers mowing kilometres of the Hume Fwy grass verge with push mowers, the Roads Minister responded ‘no’.
But photographs of workers mowing the edges of the Hume Fwy with push mowers suggest otherwise.
Luke Donnellan’s own guidelines on wire rope barriers state that the ongoing maintenance of areas on both sides of the barrier should be taken into account when installing them.
Further they state “the cost, practicality and Occupational Health & Safety implications of the maintenance of these areas need to be considered in accordance with Section 28 of the OH&S Act 2004.”
The use of push mowers on the Hume Fwy clearly does not comply with the Minister’s own guidelines.
Luke Donnellan must explain why the botched rollout of wire rope barriers has breached his own guidelines.
Daniel Andrews and Luke Donnellan must start listening to the legitimate safety concerns of country people.
Wednesday 14 February 2018
A Liberal Nationals government will give Victoria’s emerging kangaroo pet food industry certainty and make the current trial program permanent.
In Seymour to make the announcement, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the Liberal Nationals will also expand the program to take in other areas where kangaroo numbers are out-of-control.
“The kangaroo pet food industry doesn’t need another extension, it needs certainty,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government refuse to support this fledgling industry and the jobs it’s created.
“Unlike Labor, the Liberal Nationals are committed to helping Victorian farmers, making sure processors have confidence to invest in the industry and supporting existing and future jobs.”
The industry has been dogged by uncertainty, with the Andrews Labor Government failing to commit to the program, despite it proving to be an outstanding success.
Since the trial was established by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014, about 87,000 kangaroo carcasses, that would have otherwise been discarded, have been processed.
Currently, the trial is restricted to 16 regional LGAs, but the Liberal Nationals’ plan would expand it to all rural and regional LGAs.
A permanent program would align with the guidelines of the existing trial and would not change the requirement for Authority to Control Wildlife permits to be issued for any kangaroos used as pet food.
Mr Walsh said the Liberal Nationals would give industry certainty, even if Labor refused to make the trial permanent when it expires at the end of March.
“In plague numbers, kangaroos cause extensive damage to fences, compete with domestic animals for food and water and trample crops,” Mr Walsh said.
“The kangaroo pet food trial has proven this creates jobs in regional Victoria and it makes use of a resource that would otherwise rot in paddocks.
“The Andrews Labor Government isn’t prepared to guarantee this industry’s future, but the Liberal Nationals will.”
Thursday 8 February 2018
Communities in Regional Victoria would host Victorian Parliament for the first time since 2012, under an elected Liberal Nationals government.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh announced the commitment today at State Parliament, in the first sitting week of 2018.
The Liberal Nationals commitment would see two regional sittings of each chamber held in the next term of government.
“You can’t fix country Victoria’s problems from behind a desk in Spring Street. Labor scrapped Regional Parliament, the Liberal Nationals will bring it back,” Mr Guy said.
“Regional sittings offer country communities a unique opportunity to be the focus of Parliament and are an important opportunity for city-based parliamentarians to learn more about regional communities.”
The commitment would see Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley host parliamentarians from one chamber of Parliament – either the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council – for one sitting week each.
Mr Walsh said Daniel Andrews’ decision to scrap Regional Parliament was more proof he can’t see beyond Melbourne’s tram tracks.
“Daniel Andrews’ city-centric focus has denied our school children and communities in regional Victoria a chance to be part of Victoria’s democratic process,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals will put an end to the absolute contempt Labor has shown our country communities and make sure our regional communities can be part of the parliamentary process.”
The last regional sittings were held by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2012.
Wednesday 17 January 2018
The Nationals have announced nominations for preselection for the seat of Morwell in November’s State Election will open on February 5.
Nationals State President Neil Pankhurst said The Nationals are seeking candidates who are committed to fighting in the best interests of the Morwell electorate.
“The 2018 state election is an opportunity for the Latrobe Valley to elect a representative who will stand up for them on the issues that are important to the community and make sure their voice is heard,” Mr Pankhurst said.
Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said The Nationals were committed to delivering for the Latrobe Valley community.
“The Latrobe Valley has suffered because of disastrous decisions from the city-centric Andrews Labor Government and it is vital that the electorate of Morwell has a strong voice in State Parliament,” Ms Bath said.
Nominations will open on Monday, February 5 and will close at 5pm on Thursday, February 15 2018.
All members of The Nationals are eligible to nominate. For further information or to obtain a nomination form, interested parties should contact The Nationals Head Office on 03 9600 1424.
Melina Bath 03 5174 7066
Wednesday 17 January 2018
Daniel Andrews has ignored his own consultation process by imposing new restrictions on Victorian hunters in the 2018 duck season.
The Andrews Labor Government has taken no notice of advice from informed stakeholder groups that strongly argued against the restrictions.
Victorian hunters legally taking part in the duck hunting season are being penalised by a Labor Government desperate to keep the Greens on-side.
Duck hunting is a legitimate recreational activity that brings thousands of hunters and their families into regional Victoria and provides a healthy boost to our regional economies.
Daniel Andrews has shown time and time again he will always put green ideology ahead of our regional communities.
Friday 22 December 2017
This morning I have spoken to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to convey the seriousness of the impact of India’s 30 per cent tariff on chickpeas and lentils on Victorian farmers.
Victoria’s chickpea and lentil farmers have battled frost, hail and heavy rains in the past months. India’s decision to impose a 30 per cent tariff, effective immediately, has hit our hard working farmers at the worst possible time.
The imposition of a tariff, without warning and during harvest time, is not the way to manage trade relationships.
I have encouraged the Federal Government to take the strongest possible action on behalf of Victoria’s chickpea and lentil farmers.
Wednesday 13 December 2017
Daniel Andrews continues to stand by while his union mates stop our hardworking farmers from exporting their goods.
In Parliament today, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford failed to acknowledge the economic and reputational damage a union blockade at the Port of Melbourne has forced on Victorian businesses.
Ms Pulford failed to explain why she had refused requests for assistance from Victorian businesses with produce stranded at Webb Dock.
Ms Pulford didn’t acknowledge the businesses, instead washing her hands of the issue.
There are 1000 shipping containers of goods, including agricultural product, stranded at the Port of Melbourne after the three-week union blockade.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh
Daniel Andrews has made it clear he isn’t willing to lift a finger against his union mates, even if they are damaging farmers’ bottom line and threatening Victoria’s agricultural exports.
Our farmers slog their guts out from dawn to dusk and turn out the best produce in the world but this union picket is wrecking their livelihoods and Victoria’s international reputation as a reliable exporter.
Daniel Andrews and his Agriculture Minister should be right in the thick of getting this resolved but yet again the people and industries of country Victoria are being sacrificed for Labor’s union mates.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan
It’s disgraceful that when hard-working businesses like Kyvalley Dairy at Kyabram go directly to Labor’s Agriculture Minister appealing for help, the Minister’s minders tell them the Andrews Government doesn’t want to get involved.
This union action is costing our farm export businesses dollars and their trading reputations and yet Daniel Andrews refuses to act.
Tuesday 28 November 2017
Lisa Neville has had laws proposing tougher penalties for water theft in Victoria sitting on her desk for three years.
The Water Minister has flagged she is now belatedly drafting a stricter compliance regime, in light of the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s compliance review, despite having had the solution since she came to government.
The former Liberal Nationals government undertook a complete rewrite of Victoria’s Water Act which proposed tougher penalties for non-compliance in Victoria, including introducing remedial action notices and broader infringement notices.
Lisa Neville’s partisan and short sighted decision to shelve that work has led to the reputation of Victorian irrigators being unfairly tarnished.
The compliance review, released over the weekend, noted Victoria’s strong culture of compliance but says the state lacks ‘a full suite of penalties and sanctions’ against water theft.
There’s no reason for Lisa Neville to go back to the drawing board. Victorian irrigators will see change far sooner if Labor implements the tougher penalties proposed in the Liberal Nationals’ Water Bill 2014.