BUDGET cuts and rampant red tape are placing unfair pressure on local farmers in the Murray Plains electorate.
When it comes to farming, Agriculture Shadow Minister, National leader and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh knows his stuff.
Before politics he ran a horticulture/cropping enterprise at Boort, was a director of SPC and a board member of the National Farmers Federation.
Mr Walsh said the Victorian Government’s 2014 decision to roll the Agriculture Department into the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources was wrong.
He said agriculture was such a crucial part of the local, as well as national, economy, it deserved “its own brand”.
Mr Walsh’s calls come after the release of the Victorian Food and Fibre Export Performance Report 2016-17 showed Victoria’s agriculture sector export growth had slowed.
“There isn’t the appropriate focus on the agricultural sector that there should be,’’ he said.
Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Ms Pulford disputed Mr Walsh’s claims and said that he was only misleading Victorian farmers.
“Let’s not forget this comes from an opposition that had to be forced by the Andrews Labor Government to reinstate Regional Development as a Shadow Portfolio.,’’ she said.