SOUTHERN RANGELANDS –– FARMERS ACROSS BORDERS
1310. Hon COLIN de GRUSSA to the Minister for Agriculture and
I have a question without notice. I refer
to confirmation received today that volunteer organisation Farmers Across
Borders has written to the minister at least twice about providing generously
donated feed to drought-affected areas of WA.
(1) Has the minister received and
read that correspondence?
(2) Why did the minister fail to
provide a timely response to the initial letter from March?
(3) Will the
minister commit to providing state funding to Farmers Across Borders so 1 200
bales of hay can be delivered urgently to the southern rangelands?
Aldridge: Too busy in Broome and Albany.
Order! Minister for Agriculture and Food.
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
What was that?
Hon Alanna Clohesy: Too busy
in Broome and Albany.
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN:
I thank the member for the question.
was very interested that the member asked the question without notice; he
obviously does not want a detailed answer. I think there was a general letter
in March, and I believe Hon Darren West met with Farmers Across Borders. Then
we received a letter from it last week. I have not got the March letter right
before me, but I believe the letter we got in the middle of last week was the
letter that raised the issue of providing feed to the pastoralists in that
area. We have contacted Farmers Across Borders and asked to meet with its
representatives, and it has indicated that they are not available to meet until
late November or early December.
I am not really quite sure what is
going on here. I know Hon Colin de Grussa was a farmer in the past and he would
know that there is nothing unusual about pastoralists doing things that have
totally shocked Vince Catania, MLA—things such as destocking when there
is little feed or water. That is a shocking thing!
The other thing that shocks him is that people have to buy in feed sometimes.
That is very much part of the practice. As I said, we have been going
around to those pastoral companies.
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN: We
have been going around in a way that the previous government never did. We have made 100 visits in the last four months to
make sure that everyone was absolutely aware of what was going on and
find out whether they needed any help with their dewatering points.
Hon Martin Aldridge
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN: If
they wanted any help with filling in the draft form applications, we were
there. Unlike the previous government, which used to inspect about seven
pastoral leases a year, we have visited 100 pastoral leases in the past four