Parliament hears of Gippsland Weed Woes
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has taken concerns over lax enforcement of weed control to State Parliament.
Mr O’Brien has asked the Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes, to take action against landholders who are failing to control noxious weeds on their properties.
“Unfortunately this is a problem that rears its ugly head just about every year, but this year it seems I’m getting more complaints about weeds such as ragwort, blackberry and thistles going unchecked.
“The law is quite clear that landholders must control invasive weeds such as these and there are penalties for those who fail to comply.
“Unfortunately the state government authorities don’t appear to be acting to enforce the law, to the great frustration of landholders who do the right thing.
“I’m calling on the government to explain what it‘s doing to ensure landholders are controlling weeds on their property to minimise the impact on farming in Gippsland.”
Mr O’Brien said the failure by some people to control weeds came at a direct cost to their neighbours.
“I’m regularly hearing from farmers who are spending thousands of dollars to keep their properties clean only to be re-invaded by seeds blowing across from their neighbours.
“The State Government has the power to ensure that people control their weeds and they should be doing so.
“Weeds cost Australian farmers $4 billion each year through yield losses and product contamination, so they are a serious matter.
“That’s why The Nationals took a policy to the last election for a $6.8 million weeds and pest animals task force to improve enforcement of the law.
“It’s now time the State Government did likewise.”
The Minister has 30 days to respond to Mr O’Brien’s question.