Why isn’t Agriculture Victoria trying harder to enforce the Catchment and Land Protection Act?
If the Police failed to attempt to prosecute someone who had broken the law there would be a public outcry about the miscreant “getting away with it”.
Why does Agriculture Victoria fail in its duty to enforce the Catchment and Land Protection Act? Doesn’t it care? There are weedy properties across our district where seed from uncontrolled ragwort, thistles and blackberries is degrading neighbouring properties, costing neighbours significant amounts of time and money and giving neighbours a future long term burden of weed control on the property.
Agriculture Victoria is not supporting landowners who “do the right thing”.
Hard-working farmers are not only controlling their own weeds but Agriculture Victoria expects them, through community involvement, to educate their neighbours and encourage weed control. This is a recipe for neighbourhood conflict and ill feeling. Agriculture Victoria, a third party which has the responsibility of enforcing the CaLP Act, should act on behalf of affected landowners and the environment. Agriculture Victoria should not be relying on local groups and individuals to do it for them.
There are Gippsland properties which, at the moment have such thick ragwort that is looks like a canola crop. Would an unsuspecting purchaser of one of these properties, known to Agriculture Victoria through complaints from neighbours, be able to sue Agriculture Victoria for failing to serve a Land Management Notice on the property? I hope so.
This situation has to be fixed. Agriculture Victoria should be serving Land Management Notices on problem properties and, if these are contested and rejected, proposing changes to the CaLP Act which will enable them to do their job properly and protect our environment and those property owners who “do the right thing”. The Police initiate legislative change, why can’t Agriculture Victoria?
The CaLP Act also binds the Crown. Why do we have weeds along our main roads and railway lines? Is Agriculture Victoria taking these other government departments to task? It doesn’t seem so.
After almost 40 years of a no seed policy our farm is growing ragwort, blackberries and thistles where it has been clean. This is the result of Agriculture Victoria not taking timely action on neighbouring properties. Agriculture Victoria’s theory that a “dirty property” must be surrounded by “clean properties” before it will take action is totally wrong.
If there is one clean property the owner should get support from Agriculture Victoria. I am angry as the system is failing us and many other farmers.
Agriculture Victoria’s callous treatment of land owners who do obey the CaLP Act and whose efforts are undermined by recalcitrant neighbours must change. Agriculture Victoria should serve Land Management Notices on these recalcitrants and advertise their actions – the results might surprise them!
A Bullen, Tetoora Road.