SHADOW Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh is outraged that Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford refused to explain her decision to establish Animal Welfare Victoria (AWV) without any consultation with livestock and intensive industries.
Questioned in Parliament, Mr Walsh said Ms Pulford could not name any stakeholders that were consulted before AWV was established.
Industry and regional stakeholders, including the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Livestock Industry Consultative Committee, learned about the new body in a press release.
Mr Walsh said he was concerned AWV was established to win Labor votes in the Northcote by-election.
He said the announcement was made at the same time as preference negotiations were being made for the Northcote by-election.
“It’s always politics first, regional Victoria second with the Andrews Labor Government,” he said.
“Our farmers’ livelihood depends on them being experts in animal welfare, but Daniel Andrews and Jaala Pulford have made no effort to hear their views.
“The Agriculture Minister owes regional Victoria an explanation on why she failed to consult on AWV.”
Mr Walsh said AWV appeared to be nothing more than a preference grabbing tool for a Labor Government desperate to hold onto inner-city seats.
“Our farmers and regional communities are sick of the Premier for Melbourne always putting politics and inner-city votes ahead of our regional industries,” he said.