Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRIES and WATER, Ms COURTNEY
A short time ago you announced that farmers would need to apply for crop protection permits every five years instead of annually as they do now, so you have caved into gun owners once again. This applies to the control of browsing animals such as wombats, a species at risk as a result of sarcoptic mange, a threat your Government has too little to counter. Why are you allowing the killing of wombats to continue and why are you making it easier for them to be shot?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. We understand that the wombat population is in some areas under pressure because of mange but we also understand that for many primary producers they are a matter of pressure on their primary industry's operations.
Last year we announced a $100 000 program of activities to address wombat mange, including monitoring, research and financial support for community groups and individuals to treat mange-affected wombats. With the Government's support, the University of Tasmania is investigating a new mange treatment option for wombats. The goal of this research is to develop a single-dose treatment for wombat mange, eliminating the need for multiple treatments.
We understand that wombats do cause pressure on primary producers. We are a Government that listens and will continue to listen.
Ms O'Connor - How? 'Let's shoot them and make it easier for them to be shot'?
Madam SPEAKER - Order.
Ms COURTNEY - With regard to crop protection permits for wombats, I can advise that in 2018, only two new permits have been issued.
Ms O'Connor - How many permits are in place now?
Ms COURTNEY - While Ms O'Connor tries to put pressure on our primary industry producers, the men and women around Tasmania are working hard to grow their industries, grow their businesses and employ people in regional areas. We will continue to listen to our communities. We are not ashamed that we listen and respond and we will always make sure that we take appropriate steps to be able to listen to our community and make sensible decisions.