Labor dismisses drought concerns of local farmers

20 September 2018

Daniel Andrews has dismissed concerns about drought under questioning by The Nationals in Parliament this week.

Euroa MP and Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan said The Nationals had asked the Andrews Labor Government four weeks ago to fix long delays in approving permits to control kangaroo numbers.

“Increased kangaroo numbers are causing considerable problems for farmers already under pressure from a lack of rain, rising water prices and diminishing fodder supplies,” Ms Ryan said.

“Some people in northern Victoria have sold entire dairy herds to the abattoirs while cropping farmers are staring down the barrel of a failed season.

“Kangaroos are in plague numbers making life even harder for farmers facing tough seasonal conditions.

“Farmers are waiting up to 10 weeks to get permits to reduce kangaroo numbers because there aren’t enough staff to approve permits.

Asked again in State Parliament yesterday to fix these delays, Daniel Andrews said a process was being followed and accused The Nationals of grandstanding.

“There are people whose livelihoods are at risk from drought and while kangaroos in plague proportions eat them out of house and home, Daniel Andrews has no interest in helping them.

“The Premier needs to pick up the phone and put more people on the job to practically assist farmers who are losing crops and fodder to kangaroos,” she said.

Nationals leader Peter Walsh said Daniel Andrews’ dismissal of farmers’ genuine concerns came after Labor’s Agriculture Minister claimed East Gippsland farmers had been in drought for just three weeks, despite many having destocked and some forced to cart water.

“Every day Labor delays these permits is another day farmers are losing feed for their stock, which is already at critically-low levels in these dry conditions,” Mr Walsh said.

“These permits should be issued without delay but city-centric Labor doesn’t understand and isn’t listening to farmers’ calls for help.”

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