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Labor leaves farmers vulnerable to threat of FMD

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) poses a huge threat to livestock production. The Andrews Labor Government is leaving Victorian farmers stranded by refusing to support common-sense legislative change to better protect licensed water frontages and Australia’s $80 billion agriculture industry from threat.

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish said Australian agriculture is facing its biggest biosecurity threat in generations.

Ms McLeish said, “The government’s decision to allow camping on licensed river frontages comes with many risks. Biosecurity is one of them. The Labor government is gambling with livelihoods and an $80 billion industry by not implementing restrictions.”

“The Labor Government have been warned of these risks by many and on multiple occasions, and now is not the time to throw open the gates and allow people to camp in these areas.”

The Private Member’s Bill introduced by the Leader of the Nationals Party, The Hon. Peter Walsh would put power over leased waterfront land back into the hands of farmers and allow them to maintain farm biosecurity.

The proposed amendments would authorise licensed holders to operate a biosecurity management plan on their entire property and require campers to obtain their permission to come onto the land.

Changed would allow the Minister – on the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer or at the Minister’s discretion – to restrict or prohibit access to, and camping on, any licensed water frontage if they reasonably believe it is necessary to do so in the interests of Victoria’s biosecurity, public safety, and/or animal welfare.

However, Labor used its numbers to vote down these changes that would allow farmers greater control over biosecurity on their licenced waterfront land leases.

Ms McLeish continues, “These amendments are necessary to keep food on the table and our livestock industry functioning.”

“By throwing out amendments to keep farm biosecurity secure, Labor has reconfirmed its total disregard for Victorian producers. It is extremely disappointing that Labor do not understand or get this. Victorian famers deserve better.”


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