Thursday 1 June 2017
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford has again confirmed Victoria’s Wild Dog Control program is a shambles under her leadership.
Minister Pulford was embarrassed and lost for words when she appeared at a Parliamentary Inquiry today failing to say why she hadn’t delivered a new Wild Dog Community Advisory Committee that was first flagged 18 month ago.
High country farmers and communities have been left without any input into the State’s languishing Wild Dog Control Program since the Minister sacked the previous committee – without warning in November 2015.
Attribute to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh:
High country farmers and communities are beyond frustrated at Minister Pulford’s lack of interest and lack of leadership on wild dog control.
Not only has Minister Pulford sacked a well-qualified committee she continues to fail high country communities by dragging out appointments of new committee members while wild dog attacks sky rocket.
The Labor Premier for Melbourne and his Minister have dismantled a best-practice control program that was the envy of other parts of Australia and they just don’t seem get that wild dogs are a massive daily challenge for farmers and communities in the North East and far East Gippsland.
Labor Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing has resigned as Chair of the Andrews Government’s Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee – before the Committee members have even been appointed.
- Since 2015 the Andrews Labor Government has failed High Country graziers by:
- Failing to conduct an autumn run of aerial baiting in 2015
- Axing the Wild Dog Bounty in 2015 that the bounty was effective – only to backflip and bring it back 12 months later after sustained pressure from landowners and hunters and Liberal-Nationals MPs.
- Sacking the previous community advisory committee for no reason
- Leaving the control program languishing while dragging out a review for more than 12 months
- Appointing Labor MP Harriet Shing as a non-independent chair of a proposed new Advisory Committee. Ms Shing has since resigned and the Committee still hasn’t been finalised.
Earlier this year at the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria Annual Get Together in Buchan Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh announced the Liberal Nationals’ Wild Dog Control policies would include:
- Appointing an independent chair to the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee with relevant wild dog control experience
- Restoring majority landowner representation to the Committee
- Cutting red tape that hampers wild dog controllers and affected landowners from control efforts
- A competitive tender process for spring and autumn aerial baiting to ensure maximum value and effectiveness for investment