19 May 2015
The Andrews Labor Government has again shown its lack of vision and lack of understanding when it comes to Victorian agriculture.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford faced the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) yesterday afternoon. During the hearing it emerged that the government:
- Has cut the agriculture output budget by 11.9 per cent including a $9 million cut to research development and extension.
- Has abandoned the target to double Victoria’s food and fibre production by 2030.
- Has no target or goals to grow the state’s food and fibre sector.
- Believes the “effective management of pests requires an integrated approach” but has at the same time cut the successful $100 bounty on wild dogs and failed to undertake aerial baiting this autumn.
- Believes the benefits of electronic identification of sheep and goats are “very significant” to protect biosecurity but isn’t sure whether it should be introduced in Victoria – even though a foot and mouth outbreak would devastate our livestock sectors.
- Plans to grow exports while simultaneously cutting the trade output budget by 61.4 per cent.
Comments from Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh:
“This is yet another example of how this Melbourne Labor Government is hurting rural and regional Victoria.
“This government has made no meaningful commitments for our state’s agriculture industries has drastically cut funding for agriculture and does not even have a target or vision for its own Department and the industry to work toward.
“Combined with the fact only 2.9 per cent of Victoria’s major infrastructure projects will be funded outside Melbourne it is very clear this Labor Government has totally abandoned rural and regional Victoria.”