State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has lashed out at the Labor Government for not understanding or attempting to show any interest in the wild dog problem with program cuts to kick in from tomorrow.
“Tomorrow (June 30) the Andrews Government will axe the wild dog bounty, which has been extremely successful with well over 1500 pelts being handed-in and last week it also confirmed it failed to conduct aerial baiting in autumn this year and does not intend to again in the future.
“Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford told Parliament that the government would only aerial bait for wild dogs once a year, in spring, after the former Coalition Government aerial baited in both spring and autumn and committed another $4 million to ramp up baiting efforts even further.
“Labor’s decision is a slap in the face to producers and country communities in East Gippsland who suffer the devastating impacts of wild dogs.
“This is a problem that has to be tackled on several fronts, but I know the one thing we don’t need is a reduction in effort and funding.
“These vicious animals not only maul and kill livestock, particularly young lambs and calves, they also decimate native fauna.
“My genuine concern with this is that it’s Labor pandering to the inner city Greens who threaten to win their seats and Labor may go even further.
“The Greens have a very clear policy of banning wild dog trapping and baiting altogether and control feral animals by non-lethal methods where there is ‘freedom from discomfort’ (like fencing). If only it was that simple.
“This policy just goes to show how out of touch with reality they are, but unfortunately Labor already has had to adopt ridiculous Green policy on several fronts to avoid further loss of their inner city seats.
“Some time ago I spoke in parliament on a local petition to increase resources in the area of wild dog control. The Coalition did increase efforts and made a number of changes.
“I would urge those in the community who are impacted to write to their Labor Upper House member, Harriet Shing, on the matter and raise their concerns as she has remained silent on these changes and needs to be made aware of the impacts,” said Mr Bull.