The good news is that the kangaroo for pet food trial will continue, perhaps even expanded to include the North East.
But it appears the devil is in the detail and at the moment the detail is sadly lacking.
On Friday, just two days out from its expiration, the Agriculture Minister trumpeted that the program would continue but when it came to detail there was none.
- Can kangaroos shot on private property be processed?
- Are kangaroos shot with an Authority to Control Wildlife permit able to be used by the pet food manufacturers?
- Who knows? It doesn't appear Labor does.
The Coalition's Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh is right to say that this is a backward step.
My full comments provided to the Border Mail:
I’m already on the record in the parliament just last week and during last year’s election campaign calling for the kangaroo pet food trial to be made permanent and extended beyond the current 16 councils and into Benambra.
Kangaroo numbers are out of control and this creates jobs and an industry.
At face value its good news but I will still wait to see the detail – I have seen other examples from this government where these programs are designed to fail, the regulations so prohibitive that it dies on the vine.
I would also hope that these kangaroo population surveys are a little more rigorous than the last count in 2017 where they basically gave up when they got to the hills in the North East.
If you don’t think we have a problem with kangaroo numbers go for a drive through White Box Rise or as I said in parliament last week -- ask a local panel beater.
Comments attributable to Mr Walsh;
The Andrews Government’s decision to continue the kangaroo pet food trial is long overdue.
Farmers, professional shooters and pet food processors have been calling on the Government to confirm the trial’s future for months, after being left in limbo year after year because Daniel Andrews refused to make the trial permanent.
But instead of making what’s proved to be a successful trial permanent, Daniel Andrews plans to butcher it.
Labor’s announcement today confirms kangaroos controlled on private property with an Authority to Control Wildlife permit “will not be processed under the new system”.
Labor’s proposal is a backwards step.
The industry has thrived since it was established by the former Liberal Nationals government in 2014 to deal with out-of-control kangaroo numbers and ensure a resource that would otherwise be left to rot in paddocks would not go to waste.
But under Labor’s plan, wild dogs and foxes will be having a feast on controlled kangaroos that are again left in the paddock to rot.
It’s another example of the Andrews Government failing to understand how things work in regional Victoria and failing to listen to farmers and regional communities.
This announcement proves the Agriculture Minister has failed once again to stand up for the interests of farmers and regional communities.
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