GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Bracks government must cop weed fines too

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Draft legislation to enable ‘on the spot’ fines for land holders who neglect to control weeds or pest animals must be extended to include Victoria’s largest landholder – the Bracks Government, according to Bill Sykes, Nationals Member for Benalla.

Dr Sykes, along with his National Party colleagues, has repeatedly called upon the Bracks Government, known throughout the State as ‘the neighbours from hell’, to manage pests and weeds as private land holders are required to do.

Dr Sykes said, “On the spot fines for the small number of recalcitrant land holders who fail to control pests and weeds will be welcomed by the majority of land holders but it must be one rule for all.

“The Bracks Government still subscribes to the philosophy of ‘lock the gate and throw away the key’ whereas private land holders know that native vegetation must be actively managed just as pasture and crops need active management.

“The Nationals recently released Environment Policy has several initiatives to ensure better management of Victoria’s seven million hectares of State forests and National Parks. These include:

• DSE to be responsible only for public lands;

• DPI to be responsible for all enforcement of weed and pest regulations on all land holders including DSE;

• The number of organisations and Government departments involved in environmental management to be slashed with the savings directed to ‘on the ground’ works;

• Our public land will be just that – available for shared, responsible use and access by groups including bushwalkers, 4WD enthusiasts, timber harvesting and cattle grazing where appropriate.

Dr Sykes concluded, “It is time common sense came to land management with one set of rules for all land managers. I call on the Bracks Government to extend the ability of the DPI to issue ‘on the spot’ fines to include violations by the DSE and Parks Victoria”.

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Written by Greg Naylor

28 July 2006 at 6:43 pm

Posted in media release

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