Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Having failed to expedite the Authority to Control Wildlife permits process to provide relief for drought-stricken East Gippsland farmers, The Nationals have raised the matter again in State Parliament question time yesterday.
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said the question, asked directly to the Premier, was to simply ask – given Labor’s Minister had not resolved the issue – would he personally intervene to resolve this matter.
“The Premier chose not to answer what was a serious and important question, instead reverting to cheap shots,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull directed a point of order to the Premier: “I raised this issue in here four weeks ago. It is an issue that relates to resourcing so pick up the phone and put some more people on the job. For the Premier to stand there and go on with that waffle, the farmers simply want to know the answer as this can be fixed overnight”.
Mr Bull said the Premier failed to understand the needs of East Gippsland farmers.
“Unfortunately the Premier did not respond to the question or commit to intervening, rather just accused me of ‘grandstanding’ before going on to say it was a matter of ‘process’ which shows no understanding of the situation at all,” Mr Bull said.
“Farmers want to do the right thing, but they are waiting for around or more than two months before being issued the permit to control wildlife on their properties, which is particularly frustrating when additional resources could be appointed at the drop of the hat.
“At the various forums I have attended across East Gippsland in the past few weeks, this matter is raised continually.
“The Agriculture Minister has also heard it herself, but there has been no action on a problem that could be rectified overnight,” Mr Bull said.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh, who asked the initial question, said: “The Premier for Melbourne’s response was callous and confirmed he is backing his Brunswick-based Environment Minister instead of our drought-stricken farmers in East Gippsland.”
“While Labor dithers, livestock are competing with kangaroos and other wildlife for the scarce feed that’s left – it’s so easy to assist, but they refuse to.”
Wednesday, September 19, 2018