Saturday 14 January 2017
An elected Liberal-Nationals government would introduce new measures to bring wild dog numbers under control in Victoria’s High Country Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh announced today.
The Andrews Labor Government’s weakening of wild dog management has left numbers out-of-control while attacks on livestock continue to take an emotional and financial toll on landowners.
At the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria Annual Get Together in Buchan Mr Walsh announced the Liberal Nationals’ commitment to:
- Appoint an independent chair to the Wild Dog Control Advisory Committee with relevant wild dog control experience
- Restore majority landowner representation to the Committee
- Cut 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
Mr Walsh said after wasting two years conducting a review Labor had ignored calls from local landholders and done nothing to help combat wild dog attacks.
“Wild dogs are hounding livestock in Victoria’s High Country at the expense of farmers’ livelihood while Labor dithered ” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews cut the successful wild dog bounty program and then wasted two years conducting a review.
“An elected Liberal-Nationals government is committed to restoring wild dog experience and local knowledge to the advisory group and to restoring farmers’ faith in the program.”
Labor has never given a reason for why it axed the successful wild dog bounty program in early 2015. The Andrews Labor Government was forced into an embarrassing backflip in October 2016 after pressure from landholders and the Liberal Nationals.
Without the bounty wild dog numbers increased and in 2016 for the first time in five years wild dog controllers caught more dogs than the previous year.
Labor then appointed one of its own city-based MPs Harriet Shing to chair a ministerial wild dog advisory committee with significantly reduced landholder representation.
“The Liberal Nationals will ensure wild dog management is put in the hands of people with first-hand experience and relevant control knowledge and skills ” Mr Walsh said.