Labor’s Agriculture Minister has again proved she is out of her depth when it comes to wild dog control, appearing to have no knowledge of a recent ban to the larger traps used by doggers when asked in Parliament this week.
Despite the Andrews Labor Government banning the use of the larger traps used by wild dog controllers on December 30, Minister Jaala Pulford yesterday told the Upper House there had been “no changes” to the arrangements, before saying she would need to seek further advice from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
“The Minister doesn’t even know what rules her own government has enforced upon her departmental staff,” said Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“I have had a number of farmers contact my office to relay their concerns about the Government’s ban on these larger traps, so for the Minister to appear to have no idea the ban was even in place, is just not good enough.
“Wild dogs continue to attack lambs, calves and native fauna right across East Gippsland and this is having a devastating financial impact on landholders and taking an emotional toll.”
Further to the Nationals raising the matter in Question Time, Mr Bull today lodged the following questions with the Minister:
• How many of the banned traps will be withdrawn from use?
• How many traps will be provided to replace those withdrawn from use?
• What additional measures will be employed to make up the deficit in the capture effectiveness of the traps that remain approved for use?
• For those who believe the larger traps are more effective and continue to use them in the field, what are the specific charges or penalties they will face?
• Will farmers be stopped from using the now banned, larger traps that have been supplied to them by Australian Wool Innovations (AWI)?
• Was AWI consulted about this change and if so, when and how?
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, said farmers were beyond frustrated at the Government’s lack of interest and leadership on wild dog control.
“When it was elected, Labor sacked the well-qualified Wild Dog Advisory Committee and axed the wild dog bounty, before giving in to calls to reinstate the bounty 12 months later,” he said.
“Labor’s more interested in protecting itself against losing city votes to the Greens than it is the welfare of livestock and our landholders.”
Wednesday, May 9, 2018