Environment Agriculture | January 04, 2022

No ifs, no buts, dingo plan must be scrapped entirely

An illogical Labor Government policy to reintroduce dingoes in the Grampians and national parks in the Mallee may be “re-considered” in the future, a report has revealed.

Late last year, in the final days before Christmas, the Andrews Labor Government quietly released the final Greater Gariwerd Landscape Management Plan, a strategy that will guide the next 15 years.

A text box tucked away on page 62 stated: “There are no current plans to release Wilkurr (dingoes) into the wild in the Greater Gariwerd Landscape. Should there be broader community support in the future, investigations into reintroducing Wilkurr may be reconsidered”.

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the Labor Government was leaving the door open, despite landholders and agriculture stakeholders asking for the policy to be torn up.

“The Andrews Labor Government is dressing this wolf of a policy up in sheep’s clothing with its failure to unequivocally rule it out,” Ms Kealy said.

“Committing to “reconsidering” the reintroduction of dingoes is a red flag to landholders with properties adjacent to public land who fear it will jeopardise the safety of their livestock or the nearby native fauna.

“Parks Victoria noted significant concerns by local communities and the farming sector in its consultation.

“Our community must be heard. The Nationals oppose this plan. Labor must stop mincing words and rule it out once and for all.”

Moves to release dingoes at the Grampians were vehemently opposed by farmers, the Victorian Farmers Federation, local communities and the National Wild Dog Management co-ordinator, Greg Mifsud, who said the proposal was “completely flawed”.

According to Mr Mifsud, rather than contributing to the control of pest animals, like cats and foxes, “in actual fact all you are doing is compounding the predation pressure on the native fauna within the Grampians by adding another introduced predator to the system”.

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said wild dogs alone cost the Victorian economy $18 million each year.

“Rather than spending taxpayer’s money introducing more predators into the mix, the Andrews Labor Government should be properly investing in controlling pest animals and proactive programs to stop the spread of weeds, like local Landcare groups,” Mr Walsh said.

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