The Andrews Government should be investing more in agriculture research and development, not axing jobs.
On Friday, it was revealed 49 jobs across Agriculture Victoria’s research centres would be cut.
Asked to explain the job cuts in State Parliament, Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes arrogantly attempted to wash her hands of responsibility, blaming “organisational change”.
Even more bizarre was the Minister’s claim that the job cuts, which include research scientists working on advancing knowledge in red meat and livestock, and salinity monitoring, were from areas “without industry interest or support”.
The 49 jobs cut at AgVic came the day after the Andrews Government wiped out thousands of jobs in regional Victoria with its decision to shut down the native timber industry by 2030.
The job cuts are the cold reality of the Andrews Labor Government’s $47.6 million* cut to the Agriculture Budget this year, which came in addition to a $130 million cut from Regional Development Victoria**.
Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh
The Minister’s claims of “organisational changes” are just code for job cuts.
At a time when there’s growing demand for Victoria’s high-quality, sustainable food and fibre, the Andrews Labor Government shouldn’t be slashing important research jobs that will help our agriculture sector grow and prosper in the future.
Daniel Andrews should be stepping up and doing more in research and development to boost farmers’ productivity and profitability – not stopping it.
City-centric Labor always seems to find more money to pour into its multi-billion dollar Melbourne level crossing cost blowouts, but when it comes to regional Victoria Daniel Andrews can’t find a cent.
*Source: Victorian State Budget 19-20 Paper 3, p233
**Source: Victorian State Budget 19-20 Paper 3, p243