Labor must extend funds for eID
Friday 24 March 2017
The Andrews Government must offer further financial assistance to Victorian producers to implement Labor’s rushed and poorly-funded mandatory electronic identification (eID) scheme.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford announced late last year that Labor would go-it-alone on mandatory eID, offering just one month’s consultation and subsidies for the first year only.
In Parliament this week, Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan said it meant if Victoria’s 20,000 sheep producers were to share in the funds, they would get about $35 each, despite the equipment required for on-farm eID operation costing between $3000 and $10,000.
Producers will be left to foot the cost from 2018, when Labor’s funding offer expires. Mr O’Sullivan called on the Minister to extend this funding beyond 2017.
The shift to electronic tags will cost a producer tagging 5000 lambs approximately $2000 per year at current tag price.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh
Stronger biosecurity measures give producers peace of mind, but Labor’s go-it-alone eID rush-job is poorly-funded and must be extended to provide support past the first year.
Like Heyfield, like the CFA, like Hazelwood, Labor has managed this issue terribly and it is Victorians who are paying the price.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan
The 2017 eID tag subsidy and the piecemeal producer subsidy appear designed to soften the political blow rather than truly assist producers to adapt to the new policy.
With good lamb and wool prices, local producers are optimistic about the new opportunities eID could offer, but they have been frustrated by the lack of support.