The make-up of the Government’s new Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee has only half the representation from landholders the former committee had, according to State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
“I have been contacted by farmers asking why the old advisory committee was scrapped and is to be replaced with a group that has less farmer representation,” he said.
“The structure of having three landholders only, with three non-landholders, is not anything like the previous Wild Dog Advisory Committee, which had six farmers (including three from East Gippsland) and a Victorian Farmers’ Federation (VFF) representative.
“The reason you need a good spread of landholders from all areas is you must have that grassroots input from each region, including those communities in East Gippsland and north-east Victoria.
“The other topic that has been questioned is that the new committee was to have an independent chair, but we have Labor Upper House MP, Harriet Shing, appointed to that role.
“With the greatest of respect to Harriet, I think she would have at best a limited knowledge or history of the wild dog problem and it has been put to me by several people that the chair, at the very least, should have a strong understanding of the problem historically,” Mr Bull said.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Bull also supported calls by members of the former committee for the government to release the two reports it commissioned into the Wild Dog Management Program and the previous Wild Dog Advisory Committee.
Thursday, November 24, 2016