Bill Sykes says La­bor needs a dose of re­al­ity

La­bor con­demns the aerial bait­ing of wild dogs in the North East

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - News -

The Vic­to­rian Coali­tion Govern­ment has achieved more in wild dog con­trol in three years than the pre­vi­ous La­bor govern­ment achieved in over a decade.

MEM­BER for Be­nalla and Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Pri­mary In­dus­tries Bill Sykes has hit out at the La­bor Party af­ter it con­demned the aerial bait­ing of wild dogs.

Mr Sykes said that the La­bor Party and agri­cul­ture spokes­woman Jac­inta Al­lan have “once again shown how out of touch they are with coun­try people and re­al­ity”.

“The Coburg West branch has con­demned aerial bait­ing, which is re­quired to pre­vent wild dogs slaugh­ter­ing more live­stock and na­tive wildlife,” Mr Sykes said.

“While wild dogs are maim­ing and killing live­stock and na­tive wildlife, La­bor Party mem­bers are aim­ing to stop at­tempts to con­trol wild dogs.

“La­bor and its in­nercity mem­bers ob­vi­ously have no idea about the real and dev­as­tat­ing im­pacts wild dogs have on live­stock pro­duc­ers, both fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Sykes, Ms Al­lan has ex­posed her ig­no­rance on the topic af­ter she claimed that La­bor had al­ways sup­ported aerial bait­ing.

“The pre­vi­ous La­bor Federal Govern­ment re­jected Vic­to­ria’s orig­i­nal aerial bait­ing ap­pli­ca­tion on ridicu­lous grounds, treat­ing Vic­to­ria dif­fer­ently to New South Wales where aerial bait­ing has been per­mit­ted,” he said.

“Ms Al­lan must take coun­try vot­ers for fools, or think they have very short mem­o­ries.

“La­bor at both state and federal level also seem to ig­nore the im­pact preda­tory wild dogs have on quolls and other na­tive species.

“The Vic­to­rian Coali­tion Govern­ment is com­mit­ted to an in­te­grated ap­proach to wild dog con­trol through its wild dog ac­tion plan, with aerial bait­ing com­ple­ment­ing other con­trol mea­sures like trap­ping, ground bait­ing, shoot­ing and ex­clu­sion fenc­ing.

“The Vic­to­rian Coali­tion Govern­ment has achieved more in wild dog con­trol in three years than the pre­vi­ous La­bor govern­ment achieved over a decade.

“La­bor’s mem­bers want wild dog bait­ing stopped, and re­gional people can bet their last dol­lar that’s what the La­bor Party will do if elected,” Mr Sykes said.

Speak­ing at a wild dog man­age­ment fo­rum at Flow­erdale Es­tate, Strath Creek, Mr Sykes said that wild dogs are cost­ing Vic­to­ria’s live­stock in­dus­try about $13 mil­lion to $18 mil­lion per year.

In May this year the State Govern­ment be­gan aerial bait­ing on pub­lic land in East Gipp­s­land and North East Vic­to­ria to com­ple­ment its ex­ist­ing wild dog pro­gram, with an in­ter­state bait sup­ply pi­lot in­tro­duced to im­prove land­holder ac­cess to 1080 baits.

He said that all land man­agers have a re­spon­si­bil­ity for wild dog con­trol.

“Our ac­tion plan en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to work to­gether us­ing all avail­able tools in­clud­ing bait­ing, trap­ping, shoot­ing, ex­clu­sion fenc­ing and good an­i­mal hus­bandry.

“We have also sought lo­cal knowl­edge in the de­vel­op­ment of new work plans for each of the 15 wild dog man­age­ment zones which spec­ify op­er­a­tional tar­gets, in­clud­ing pro­gram bait­ing and trap­ping ca­pac­ity and con­tri­bu­tion from com­mu­nity wild dog con­trol groups,” Mr Sykes said.

East Gip­p­land’s cur­rent South­ern Ark fox bait­ing pro­gram will be al­tered to in­clude more wild dog bait­ing over longer pe­ri­ods through­out the year.

This will in­crease the wild dog baits laid in high wild dog ac­tiv­ity ar­eas and re­duce the du­pli­ca­tion of ef­fort by the two pro­grams.

Nom­i­nated Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Pri­mary In­dus­tries field ser­vice of­fi­cers in high wild dog ac­tiv­ity ar­eas are also be­ing trained to lay baits as part of the State Govern­ment’s most re­cent ini­tia­tives.

WILD DOG FO­RUM: Mem­ber for Be­nalla and Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Pri­mary In­dus­tries Bill Sykes with Vic­to­rian Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion wild dog con­trol ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee mem­ber Michael McCormack.

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