The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is calling for action from the Allan Labor Government to enforce weed management.
Mr O’Brien said his office has been inundated with calls and emails as a lack of enforcement leads to weed infestation right across the electorate.
“Every year, particularly at this time of year, I receive desperate pleas for help from farmers with neighbours who are not doing their part to control their weeds and this year is no different,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It is in all landholders’ best interests to take action to stop the spread of noxious weeds like ragwort, blackberry and thistle, but unfortunately it only takes a few to drop the ball for the problem to get out of hand. This includes the Government itself as we know that Crown land is often the worst offender.”
According to Agriculture Victoria, established weeds and pest animals in Victoria are estimated to cost agricultural landowners $869 million per year in management and lost production costs – as they cause significant damage to landscapes and waterways.
Mr O’Brien said farmers are understandably frustrated that when they report weed infestations on neighbouring properties, they are met with excuses and no action.
“Weeds can severely impact productivity so it is critical that we do everything we can to support farmers, because profitable farm businesses are critical for local economies and jobs.
“The laws around weed management are in place, the problem is enforcement.
“The Allan Labor Government must actively enforce the legislation to ensure all landholders do their part to control noxious weeds.
“Gippsland farmers are growing increasingly frustrated that this clearly isn’t a priority for the city-centric Allan Labor Government.”