Nationals Leader Peter Walsh has admitted that an elected Liberal-Nationals Coalition would privatise wild dog control in Victoria, sending control efforts back decades.
Mr Walsh promised the Coalition would use private companies to deliver aerial baiting.
Mr Walsh incorrectly claimed the new Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee had no landholder representation.
In fact, expressions of interest for membership of the Wild Dog Management Advisory Committee have not yet closed – remaining open until Wednesday 18 January.
The new committee, chaired by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing, will ensure direct community input, in addition to the six additional members representing a cross-section of stakeholders including farmers and other landholders.
It will complement the work of the Wild Dog Action Plan Delivery Group, which is tasked with monitoring implementation of the Action Plan for Managing Wild Dogs in Victoria.
Wild dogs create a significant challenge for land managers and are estimated to cost Victoria’s livestock industry up to $18 million every year.
That’s why the Labor Government announced $6.2 million in additional funding over four years to support the ongoing management of foxes and wild dogs in the Victorian Budget 2016/17.
This additional investment has allowed the aerial baiting of wild dogs to run twice yearly in spring and autumn – key periods when wild dogs are most active and baiting is most effective, and double the frequency than under the previous Coalition Government.
In recognition of the role hunting can play in supporting the management of wild dogs, a bigger, better bounty of $120 has been introduced on wild dogs.
Collection of skins from within control zones in Northern Victoria and Gippsland will occur between March and October 2017, in addition to the $10 fox bounty.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“It should come as no surprise that the Coalition wants to privatise wild dog control and send the cooperative efforts by government and farmers back decades.”
“Mr Walsh has demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of how the current wild dog and fox control program operates.”
“The Nationals’ strategy for wild dog control will not result in a single extra dog being taken. Like always, the supposed party of the country is all talk – only the Labor Government is genuinely helping our farmers.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020