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Giant Murray Cod

Media Releases

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Monday, November 08, 2010
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am extremely disappointed in the response of the DPI to reports of the spread of the noxious weed Patterson’s Curse throughout our region.
As I drive throughout parts of my electorate I see paddock after paddock being overrun by this choking weed and whilst responsibility for the control of the weed on private land lies with the landholder, it is incumbent upon the DPI to take an active role in the enforcement of the legislation requiring landholders to control weeds on their land.
Recent newspaper reports quote the DPI as stating that the overall threat of the weed is decreasing not increasing.
This is not supported by the visual evidence particularly on roadsides where there is still confusion as to who is responsible for controlling weeds and vermin.
The Parliament of Victoria has given the DPI greater powers to enforce the control of weeds and they must start using these.
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Monday, November 29, 2010
Dear Sir,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to the electors of the Swan Hill District on their extraordinary vote of confidence in me as their local Member of Parliament.
The level of my vote is also a very strong message of dissatisfaction with John Brumby and Labor and a clear message that the electors of Swan Hill do not want another 4 years of Labor government in Victoria.
Whatever role I may have in a future Government, my very clear commitment will always be to the electorate that sent me to the Victorian Parliament and I look forward to continuing to work with the individuals and organisations throughout what I consider to be one of the best regions in Victoria.
Once again, my thanks to all.
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Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Dear Sir,
Through your newspaper I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Wedderburn’s Amanda Divola on being named as the 2011 Victorian Trainee of the Year.
Amanda has been studying Certificate 111 in Retail at Bendigo TAFE and her obvious skills and commitment to her studies and the retail industry have been recognised at the highest level.
In making the announcement the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, made note of the depth of skill and innovation that exists in Victoria’s training sector and the importance of a highly skilled workforce in maintaining Victoria’s high quality industrial base.
Amanda has shown herself to be an excellent example of this and of the quality and potential of people found in our region.
I hope that her achievement inspires others to pursue their education and training in their chosen careers to the fullest.
I am sure that all members of our community will join me in congratulating Amanda on her award.
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Letter to the Editor

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Dear Sir,
There are several pieces of Legislation that will be debated in the next sitting of Parliament which may be of interest to residents of the Swan Hill electorate.
The Associations Incorporation Reform Bill repeals a 1981 Act and replaces it with a new, modern piece of legislation governing the incorporation of voluntary organisations and makes provision relating to governance and financial accountability.
The Control of Weapons and Firearms Acts Amendment Bill creates a new indictable offence for prohibited persons to possess, use or carry imitation firearms and provides for new rules relating to the minimum number of shooting events a person licensed to possess certain categories of handguns must participate in.
The Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Bill continues the Coalition Government’s reforms of how Victoria’s emergency services are governed.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (Investigative Functions) Bill implements an election commitment by detailing the wide range of investigative powers the new IBAC will have.
The Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Bill
The Freedom of Information (Freedom of Information Commissioner) Bill
Copies of the above may be obtained from website: www.parliament.vic.gov.au.
I am keen to receive people’s views about these and any other pieces of Legislation that come before Parliament. Anyone wishing to comment can do so by writing to me at 274 Campbell St Swan Hill, 3585 before Friday 3rd February.

Letter to the Editor

Thursday, May 03, 2012
Dear Editor,
The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering $75 million more for farming communities than the former Labor government’s Future Farming Strategy.
We are investing:
• $61.4 million on our Agriculture and Food Industry Plan (AFIP),
• $8.7 million to provide water security for food producers,
• $55.7 million on improved water resource management and waterway protection,
• $7.9 million on roadside weed control,
• $5 million to improve Year 12 retention rates in rural Victoria,
• $20 million on higher education participation,
• $50 million on the Victorian International Engagement Strategy, and
• $5 million for marketing co-operatives.
After 11 years in office all Labor could talk about in agriculture was their Future Farming Strategy, which was propped up with climate change and health initiatives and the Regional Rail Review.
On a like-for-like basis the Coalition is investing $213.6 million in the 2012-13 Budget over four years on agriculture, water, rural sills and export market facilitation compared with only $138.6 million spent on those areas in the Future Farming Strategy.
On top of this we are investing $171.9 million in major periodic maintenance on our regional passenger and freight rail lines to ensure the network is maintained to an appropriate level so food and fibre producers are able to get their product to market.
In challenging economic times, we are strongly investing in key areas of infrastructure and frontline services supporting agriculture and regional communities.
The Coalition is clearly delivering more to agriculture, the key industry that keeps regional Victorian communities strong.
Peter Walsh MLA
Deputy Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security
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Letter To The Editor

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Dear Editor,
The Victorian Coalition Government values the remarkable contribution of our horticultural ndustries and growers in producing fresh fruit, growing the economy and creating jobs.
The Coalition Government is committed to working with industry to maintain Sunraysia’s preferred trading status into Asian markets by eradicating Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) from the Sunraysia Pest Free Area.
That is why in my first 18 months as Agriculture and Food Security Minister I have delivered an additional $10 million from the State Budget to combat fruit fly outbreaks – the equivalent of four years QFF outbreak funding under the former Labor government.
This is on top of the Coalition Government’s annual $2.8 million commitment to QFF surveillance and control, which I increased by $185,000 last year. We have also allocated $250,000 to establish road block infrastructure near Euston in New South Wales.
Contrary to the claims by Australian Table Grape Association Chief Executive Officer Jeff Scott, the Coalition Government’s ongoing efforts are helping to preserve Sunraysia’s pest free status.
The Department of Primary Industries is currently consulting on a future QFF management plan that would see continued investment in the effort to eradicate fruit fly from Sunraysia.
The threat to Victorian horticulture’s trading status does not come from focusing eradication efforts on the Sunraysia. The threat comes from pretending we can claim wider-Victoria is pest free when there have been unprecedented detections each of the past three seasons.
The final decision on fruit fly management has not been taken, but it is clear further investment will be needed to keep Sunraysia pest free into the future.
As with all other agricultural pest and disease management issues, it is appropriate for industry to invest in these responses. DPI will continue to support industry but ultimately a small industry investment to secure access to a $50 million horticulture market makes good business sense.
I look forward to continuing to work through the issues and opportunities with industry to eradicate fruit fly from the region.
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Letter To The Editor

Friday, November 30, 2012
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Aunty Ivy Bell on her induction to the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll 2012.
Aunty Ivy has been a tireless worker for the local Aboriginal community for many years, is highly respected by all and thoroughly deserves this recognition.
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Letter to the Editor

Friday, January 11, 2013
Dear Editor,
Timber harvesting is often attacked by fringe environmental groups and grossly misrepresented as an industry that is wiping out our native forests, with no regard for sustainability. This is simply not true.
Three independent, EPA-approved audits of commercial timber harvesting in Victoria’s State forests were released by Environment and Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith recently. All three reports show an extremely high level of industry compliance with regulatory framework.
In other words, Victoria’s commercial forestry industry is meeting the strict rules and requirements for the planning of timber harvesting, harvesting operations, and forest regeneration.
Ninety-nine per cent of forestry coupes regenerated by VicForests satisfied the performance standards.
These reports show that Victorians can be confident in the integrity of our commercial forestry industry, and that Victorian forests are being managed sustainably and according to regulation.
Victoria’s native timber industry provides important economic support to many of our regional towns and employs around 11,000 Victorians.
The timber from our native forests is sourced sustainably and responsibly, ensuring our forests remain renewable assets.
The Victorian Coalition Government proudly supports the State’s commercial timber industry, and these latest reports again confirm our forests are among the best and most sustainably managed in the world.
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Contact: Electorate Office: 274 Campbell Street SWAN HILL Vic 3585 Phone: (03) 5032 3154 Fax: (03) 5032 9483