Victorian farmers have long called for a dedicated rural crime squad, but yesterday’s announcement doesn’t deliver what farmers requested, says Deputy Leader of the Opposition Peter Walsh.
Changing job titles is not the same as adding new frontline officers and it won’t help tackle worsening rural crime rates.
The Andrews Labor Government is trying to dress yesterday’s announcement up as 70 new positions, but in reality there won’t be any more boots on the ground in frontline roles to protect our farmers and their properties.
Without a commitment from the Government for new frontline roles and a dedicated, specialist rural crime unit, this is just Labor shuffling the deck chairs.
Victoria’s existing Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs) do the best they can to tackle rural crime but they need more support.
Just 12 months ago Labor was rubbishing the idea of a dedicated rural crime squad and it’s clear they still aren’t listening.
The devil’s always in the detail with Daniel Andrews and once you look closely at this announcement it falls well short of what our farmers have been calling for.