Katrina Hodgkinson did not visit any of the offices affected by Local Land Services while in Deniliquin on Thursday.December 5, 2012 4:13am
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson did not visit any of the three organisations affected by Local Land Services during her visit to Deniliquin on Thursday.
The minister met with representatives from eight local councils, irrigator groups, private landholders and other agriculture stakeholders to discuss the Local Land Services proposal and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
However she has been criticised for not visiting the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) or the Catchment Management Authority (CMA) offices.
The three organisations will be joined to form Local Land Services in 2014, and are facing budget and job cuts ahead of the merger.
Riverina LHPA board chairman Butch Lane said it was ‘‘not quite right’’ that the minister was in Deniliquin — where the Riverina LHPA headquarters is located — and did not meet with employees.
‘‘Whether she doesn’t want to talk to LHPA people, we don’t know.’’
Mr Lane said it was ‘‘disheartening’’.
‘‘When we’re all trying our best to do what the minister’s asked us too
A spokesperson from the minister’s office said the primary reason for the minister’s visit was to discuss the basin plan and ovine Johne’s disease (OJD).
‘‘The minister was in town to meet with local councils and representatives from local councils, as well as farmers and landholders about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and OJD,’’ she said.
While disappointed that Ms Hodgkinson did not meet with the LHPA, DPI or CMA, Mr Lane did say consultation had improved compared to last time the LHPA underwent change.
The organisation was restructured about five years ago under the previous Labor government, when Ian Macdonald was the Minister for Primary Industries.
Mr Lane said at that time, Mr Macdonald announced the change at a conference he was opening, and it was not up for debate.
‘‘I think he walked out without even remembering to open the conference,’’ Mr Lane said.
The chairman said it was ‘‘extremely good’’ that consultation was taking place this time.
He said LHPAs were making submissions to the stakeholder reference panel on Local Land Services, and he encouraged landholders to do the same.
‘‘We urge people, whether they’re in favour of the LHPA or not, to get in there and get on the website or write to somebody on the reference panel and let them know their thoughts.’’
To comment on the proposed plan, visit http://haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/locallandservices
Hafizullah Mohaqiq was born in Afghanistan, spent periods living in Pakistan and Iran, before arriving in Shepparton two months ago.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Fairley Leadership Program met in Tatura on Wednesday, exploring ‘Water and our catchment’ at Goulburn Murray Water.
Road authorities have made little progress to fixing Echuca’s most dangerous intersections.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.