Victoria’s kangaroo pet food trial must be made permanent
Wednesday 6 February 2019
Farmers, professional shooters and processors have been left frustrated by the Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing failure to make Victoria’s successful kangaroo pet food trial permanent.
Communities that rely on the program to generate local jobs and investment are suffering a serious case of déjà vu, with the trial’s extension set to end on March 31 but no decision on its future.
Asked by Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh for an explanation in State Parliament today, Labor’s Environment Minister would only say a decision would be made "very, very soon".
Mr Walsh said this response fell far short of community expectation.
"Confidence among farmers, professional shooters and processors has been decimated by Labor's failure to genuinely support this emerging industry," Mr Walsh said.
"Since it was introduced by the former Liberal Nationals Government, the kangaroo pet food program has successfully improved biosecurity on Victorian farms and created new jobs and investment in communities in Regional Victoria.
“But under a Labor Government beholden to city-based greenies, we’re facing the same uncertainty year after year.”
The kangaroo pet food trial was established to deal with out-of-control kangaroo numbers, ensuring a resource that would otherwise be left to rot in paddocks would not go to waste.
But the Andrews Labor Government has done nothing but delay, waiting until the eleventh hour to confirm a 12 month extension last year, only to then fail to grant control permits for the next six months.
“Wild dogs and foxes will be having a feast on controlled kangaroos that are left in the paddock to rot if Labor axes this program,” Mr Walsh said.
“This trial has proven its worth and this year, instead of another extension, it must be made permanent.”