Media releases Agriculture Environment

Liberal Nationals will set up weeds and pest animals taskforce

Friday 20 July 2018

Liberal Nationals will set up weeds and pest animals taskforce

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will help support Victorian farmers and land managers in the fight against weeds and pest animals with a new taskforce that will properly enforce laws.

Weeds strangle the productivity of our farmers, costing an estimated $4 billion through yield losses and product contamination across the nation each year.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will provide an additional $6.88 million over four years in a new weeds and pest animal enforcement taskforce which will be established in Agriculture Victoria.

The taskforce will strengthen compliance with Victorian laws and will support the hard work of landowners who already properly manage weeds and pest animals.

Supporting our farmers and land managers just isn’t a priority for Labor.

Weeds and pest animals are running rampant after Daniel Andrews cut the Department’s number of property inspections and has failed to enforce laws which are in place to protect private and public land.

It’s left landholders who do the right thing by controlling invasive species on their own properties negatively impacted by neighbours who flout laws which are not being properly enforced.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

A Liberal Nationals Government will boost enforcement activity with a new, dedicated taskforce.

We need to urgently reverse the damage Daniel Andrews has caused by cutting inspection rates and failing to properly enforce weed and pest animal laws.

There are lots of farmers who do the right thing, spend money and do the grunt work controlling weeds and pests on their properties but all that good work is undone if recalcitrant neighbours flout the laws.

Weeds and pests like rabbits can severely impact on productivity so it is critical that we do everything we can to support farmers, because profitable farm businesses are critical for local economies and jobs throughout Regional Victoria.

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Liberal Nationals will help farmers bridge the innovation GAPP

Friday 20 July 2018

Liberal Nationals will help farmers bridge the innovation GAPP

We must increase the productivity of our farmers if Victoria is to fulfil its potential as an agriculture powerhouse.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest $5.3 million to roll out the Growth, Adoption, Production and Profitability (GAPP) program.

GAPP will help Victorian farmers access new technologies and practices in order to boost productivity and profitability of food and fibre growers.

The funding will be available to industry grower groups to deliver co-funded programs that help their members boost on-farm productivity through the adoption of new technologies and practices.

This follows the success of a pilot program, funded by the former Liberal Nationals Government in partnership with Birchip Cropping Group (BCG).

When Victorian farms are more productive it's good for regional jobs, good for regional economies and for all Victorians.

Only an elected Liberal Nationals Government will make sure farmers have access to the R&D programs they need in order to boost on-farm productivity and profitability.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

With strong demand for Victorian food and fibre products, both in local markets and overseas, it’s more important than ever to drive sustainable, long-term growth in Victorian agriculture.

A Liberal Nationals government will be committed to developing innovation and R&D partnerships with our agricultural sectors because this will deliver the best outcomes for Victorian farmers, and for the Victorian economy.

The Premier for Melbourne and his city-centric Labor Government have failed to help secure the opportunities that are knocking at our farm gates.

A Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a better deal for our farmers and for Regional Victoria.

Media releases Agriculture Environment Community Services

New Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to help protect farmers’ assets

Thursday 19 July 2018

 

New Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to help protect farmers’ assets

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will establish a new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to specialise in dealing with rural crime including farm and livestock theft.

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will work with Victoria Police to establish a dedicated Livestock and Rural Crime Squad with 20 new specialist rural crime investigators.  The allocation of 20 new specialist roles will boost dedicated rural crime police numbers by 40 per cent.

 

Stock theft is becoming a huge business for criminals and its hurting hard working families on the land. 

 

Instances of stock theft rose 40% in 2017 and between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 232 instances of ‘Burglary/Break and Enter’ and ‘Theft’ offences recorded where livestock were stolen. Just 10 of these crimes resulted in an arrest or summons.

 

Labor has failed to act on rural crime, including livestock theft. Warrnambool Police Inspector Paul Marshall recently described stock theft:

 

“It’s big business… Traditionally farmers have been left a little bit short on the service they are getting so we’re really trying to correct that and treat stock theft for what it is. It’s a serious organised crime.” 

 

The Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will be based throughout regional Victoria.  Victoria Police will inform the final operational structure of the specialist unit however it is intended that the roles will be located throughout regional Victoria, ensuring unit members will be working in the rural communities they will be protecting. 

 

These 20 new investigation positions will merge with the existing Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group and the 48 Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs) to create the new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad.

 

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

 

“The skyrocketing numbers of farm and livestock thefts aren’t just statistics; they are the livelihoods of families which is why I am so determined to get tough on these crimes.    

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will muscle-up on farm and livestock thefts.

 

A Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will give the Police the resources they need to put more focus on farm and livestock thefts and protect the livelihoods of our farmers.

 

Daniel Andrews and his regional Labor MPs don’t seem to think farm and livestock thefts are an issue and after nearly four years they still haven’t done anything about it.

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will keep all Victorians safe and secure.”

 

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh:

 

“Daniel Andrews is the Premier for Melbourne, the Liberal Nationals will govern for all of Victoria. At the moment because of Labor’s cuts to police, there are only ever a handful of arrests made for farm and livestock theft and that sends a message to criminals that they can probably get away with it. 

 

A Liberal Nationals Government will send a strong message to potential criminals that if they are thinking about farm and livestock theft you will get caught and you will get punished.

 

Victoria’s agricultural industry can’t afford another four more years of Daniel Andrews and Labor’s lack of action on farm and livestock theft.”

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Agriculture will grow under a Liberal Nationals government

 

 

Thursday 19 July 2018

 

Agriculture will grow under a Liberal Nationals government

 

When regional Victoria’s economy is strong, all Victorians benefit.  

 

An elected Liberal Nationals government will make the investments to drive growth and support jobs in Victoria’s agriculture industries to benefit all Victorians.

 

Food and fibre production is the backbone of our regional communities. A Liberal Nationals Government will invest to make sure these vital sectors continue to grow and support jobs and business opportunities throughout our State.

 

If elected, the Liberal Nationals will establish the Grow Victoria: Food and Fibre Exports Program with a $40 million investment that will help our local farmers and food manufacturers to get more Victorian products into the rapidly expanding Asian markets.

 

Victoria’s reputation for clean, green, premium produce puts us in prime position to grow food and fibre exports but the current city-centric State Labor Government has failed to grasp the opportunity knocking at our farm gates.

 

Under the Liberal Nationals leadership, we will reverse the Andrews Government’s funding cuts and ensure Victoria’s food and fibre export strategy addresses key drivers including market access, research and development, reducing red tape and infrastructure investment.

 

Victoria is the nation’s largest exporter of agricultural goods but other states have increased their share of exports in the past three years and Victoria has declined, dropping from 28 per cent of Australian exports in 2013-14 to 25 per cent in 2016-17.

 

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

 

“When regional Victoria’s economy is strong every Victorian benefits.  

 

Creating more great jobs in regional Victoria is the key to decentralising our population.

 

A Liberal Nationals Government I lead will ensure Victoria’s farm and food businesses can continue to grow, and the regional communities these sectors support will also thrive.

 

We have innovative farmers and food businesses and exciting prospects for high value export markets right on our doorstep, and a Liberal Nationals government is committed to making sure Victoria’s food and fibre sectors seize every opportunity that is available.”

 

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh:

 

“A city-centric Labor Government has been short-sighted in the last four years but a Liberal Nationals government will restore funding and get this important work back on track.

 

Regional development and decentralising our population will only succeed if we create good, secure and well-paying jobs and business opportunities in regional Victoria.  

 

Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to invest in the future of our farmers and food manufacturers, and in turn this is an investment in the people and communities of regional Victoria.

 

Growing Victoria’s farm and food businesses will create more great jobs in the industry and that will help grow our regions and decentralise our population.”

Media releases Agriculture Environment

Labor all bark and no bite on wild dog control

Tuesday 8 May 2018
Labor all bark and no bite on wild dog control
Background
Daniel Andrews’ city-centric Labor government is leaving livestock – and farmers’ livelihoods – under threat.
Wild dog controllers have been banned from using larger dog control traps due to “animal welfare concerns”.
These traps are used to trap wild dogs that viciously maim, disembowel and kill lambs, calves and native fauna.
Asked about it in Parliament today, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford appeared to have no idea the ban, in place since December 30, had been implemented.
Regular wild dog attacks on livestock have a devastating financial and emotional toll on landholders in North East Victoria and Gippsland.
But the Andrews Labor Government has progressively dismantled successful control measures to appease Greens voters in Melbourne.
When it was elected, Labor sacked the well-qualified Wild Dog Advisory Committee and axed the wild dog bounty, before giving in to calls to reinstate the bounty more than 12 months later.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh
High country farmers and communities are beyond frustrated at Labor’s lack of interest and lack of leadership on wild dog control.
Labor’s more interested in protecting itself against losing city votes to the Greens than it is the welfare of livestock and our landholders.
It’s no wonder country people feel ignored by Labor when the Agriculture Minister will always go in to bat for the interests of Melbourne’s Fitzroy latte sippers over our farmers.
The Premier for Melbourne should remember: the only good fox is a dead fox and the only thing better is a dead wild dog.

Media releases Agriculture Environment Community Services

Liberal Nationals support deer meat for pet food industry

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.”

Media releases Agriculture Infrastructure Environment Regional Development Community Services

More Labor lies on wire rope barriers

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.

Media releases Agriculture Infrastructure Environment Regional Development

Liberal Nationals to make kangaroo pet food trial permanent

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.”

Media releases Regional Development Community Services Agriculture Environment

Regional communities to host Parliament under Liberal Nationals

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.

Media releases Agriculture Infrastructure Environment Regional Development Community Services

Statement on The Nationals preselection for the seat of Morwell

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.

 

 

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