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Our successful 98th State Nationals Conference in Benalla highlighted the important role rural and regional Victoria plays in the State’s future.

Press Releases

BRUMBY LEAVES NORTHERN VICTORIA UNPREPARED FOR LOCUST ATTACK

Friday, June 06, 2014
John Brumby has left northern Victoria dangerously exposed to voracious hoards of
hungry locusts by reneging on his promise to establish an incident control centre in Swan
Hill.

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development Peter
Ryan requested a briefing today at the Swan Hill locust incident control centre, only to be
told that it did not exist.

“The Brumby Government’s response to the locust plague is failing. Labor has already
broken a basic promise to Swan Hill and now left northern Victorian region dangerously
unprepared.

“Locusts are banding around Swan Hill and Kerang but Labor’s so-called incident control
centre consists of just one Department of Primary Industries’ field officer.

“In July John Brumby promised that up to 400 specially trained staff would be placed in
incident control centres in Horsham, Mildura, Swan Hill, Tatura and Bendigo.

‘We are not waiting. We are taking the necessary steps now…’ (John Brumby,
‘Strikeforce of 400 to fight war on locusts’ 8/07/10)

and

‘The Brumby Labor Government’s $43.5 million war on locusts includes the following
measures…announcing five locust incident control centres in Bendigo, Horsham, Mildura,
Swan Hill, Tatura and Bendigo.’
(Joe Helper, ‘Helper: Baillieu must reprimand out-oftune
Drum who has the wrong buzz on locusts’ 18/08/10).

Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Member for Swan
Hill Peter Walsh said landholders were concerned that reports of sightings were not being
acted on fast enough.

“By the time a field officer attends to inspect hatchings, many of the locusts have banded
and moved,” Mr Walsh said.

“As usual, John Brumby’s response has been focused on spin rather than substantive
action.”