Environment and Water | February 08, 2019

Victoria’s kangaroo pet food trial must be made permanent

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says farmers, professional shooters and processors have been left frustrated by the Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing failure to make Victoria’s successful kangaroo pet food trial permanent.

Communities that rely on the program to generate local jobs and investment are suffering a serious case of déjà vu, with the trial’s extension set to end on March 31 but no decision on its future.

The Nationals have again called on the Labor’s Environment Minister for an explanation only to be told a decision would be made "very, very soon".

"Confidence among farmers, professional shooters and processors has been decimated by Labor's failure to genuinely support this emerging industry," Ms Kealy said.

"Since it was introduced by the former Liberal Nationals Government, the kangaroo pet food program has created over a dozen new local jobs, investment in local communities and a niche market for high quality pet food.

“But under a Labor Government beholden to city-based greenies, we’re facing the same uncertainty year after year,” she said.

The kangaroo pet food trial was established to deal with out-of-control kangaroo numbers, ensuring a resource that would otherwise be left to rot in paddocks would not go to waste.

But the Andrews Labor Government has done nothing but delay, waiting until the eleventh hour to confirm a 12 month extension last year, only to then fail to grant control permits for the next six months.

“In plague numbers, kangaroos damage fences and trample crops and become a danger on our country roads,” Ms Kealy said.

“We all know the dangers of driving at dawn and dusk when kangaroos are most active and without proper management our community safety is at risk.

“This trial has proven its worth and this year, instead of another extension, it must be made permanent so that processors have confidence to invest in the industry and to support existing and future jobs,” she said.

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