Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
A Liberal Nationals Government will crack down on livestock theft in East Gippsland, pledging to establish a statewide Livestock and Rural Crime Squad.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said if elected in November, the Liberal Nationals would work with Victoria Police to establish the squad, which would include 20 new specialist rural crime investigators, boosting police numbers in that field by 40 per cent.
“As a country MP I hear first-hand just how much devastation stock theft causes in our rural communities and I have had a number of local farmers raise concerns who have called for this specialised squad and I am pleased to say we will deliver it if elected in November,” Mr Bull said.
“Local police and the existing Agricultural Liaison Officers are doing a good job, but it is clear they need more support given the instances of rural crime taking place across Victoria and particularly here in East Gippsland.”
Mr Bull said instances of stock theft rose 40 per cent in 2017 and between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 232 instances of ‘Burglary/Break and Enter’ and ‘Theft’ offences recorded where livestock were stolen. Just 10 of these crimes resulted in an arrest or summons.
The specialist unit will provide a new level of dedicated support to rural communities, with the final operational structure to be determined by Victoria Police.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, said Labor had failed to act on rural crime.
“A Liberal Nationals Government will send a strong message to potential criminals that if they are thinking about farm and livestock theft you will get caught and you will get punished,” Mr Walsh said.
“Victoria’s agriculture industry can’t afford another four years of Daniel Andrews and Labor’s lack of action on farm and livestock theft.”
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, says a Liberal Nationals Government will establish a Livestock and Rural Crime Squad.
Friday, July 20, 2018