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
Congratulations to all our award winners in Greater Shepparton. To find out more about what our amazing recipients have done, see tomorrow's Shepparton News.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
When the wall is in sight, swimmer Nash Ramage finds that little bit extra.
Vandals have uprooted trees along the Campaspe River, leaving Rochester River Reserve Committee president Paul Poort furious and devastated.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Cobram bowler Chris Taylor has been bowling all along Australia’s east coast, and all for a good cause.
The Free family were overwhelmed when stolen fishing equipment was returned to them on Monday night.
SPC Ardmona’s managing director Peter Kelly will end his association with the company when his two-year commitment to the job expires at the end of March.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
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.