In good news for 2020, Victorian lamb producers are looking forward to one of the best seasons in years.
But there’s massive concern in the industry that if workforce restrictions on meat processors aren’t relaxed soon, particularly in regional areas that have recorded few – if any – cases of coronavirus, that our local farmers will miss out.
Victorian producers supply nearly half of our nation’s sheep and lamb meat.
The spring peak is approaching and meat processors should be ramping up to meet a bump in demand.
But the Andrews Labor Government is refusing to budge on its demand that lamb meat processors operate with just 67 per cent of their workforce.
Labor’s Agriculture Minister is arrogantly ignoring warnings from industry that the workforce must be able to operate at 80 per cent to avoid huge pressure on the food supply chain and the risk that supermarket shelves will run low.
In recent years our farmers have faced huge pressure from drought, bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic. The Andrews Labor Government is now interfering in the lamb market, which is going to crash the price – taking money from farmer’s pockets at a time they can least afford.
The city-centric Andrews Labor Government’s pig-headed ignorance is an unnecessary handbrake that’s adding to the challenges currently facing our agriculture sector.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture
Leader of The Nationals