Member for Orange, Philip Donato MP

MOVEMBER: Phil Donato is participating in 'Movember' and growing a moustache this month to raise awareness of men's health issues including cancer and suicide.
MOVEMBER: Phil Donato is participating in 'Movember' and growing a moustache this month to raise awareness of men's health issues including cancer and suicide.

Suckling Pig Market

After the matter was brought to me by a concerned farmer, I recently asked the Government if they were aware that the suckling pig industry has been significantly and adversely affected by the introduction of compulsory ear-tagging of each pig; legislation that was initiated by the Liberal National Government.

The simple fact is that buyers do not want to purchase carcasses with damaged ears from tag removal.

As a result the sales of suckling pigs at the Forbes Sale Yards has drastically reduced over the last six months.

The numbers have gone down from several hundred sales per week to approximately 20 to 30 per week, since the introduction of the ear-tagging regulation.

It’s ironic that the Government who purports to support small businesses and farmers would introduce measures that directly harm hard working primary producers.

I asked the Government if they have considered the introduction of some other form of marking or branding, and what consultation was conducted with the pig farming industry before the introduction of compulsory ear-tagging pre market sale.

It seems likely that adequate consultation would most likely have avoided this issue in the first place.

I’m expecting an answer by November 21.

Central West Livestock Exchange

Farmers and transport operators throughout the Parkes area have been penalised time and time again for their trucks being overweight when departing the Central West Livestock Exchange.

It seems that the NSW Government are happy to reap the money generated through penalty notices issued to farmers’ overloaded trucks, but not so interested in putting the money back into the necessary infrastructure to support farmers and the agricultural industry.

As a result, transport operators have decreased operation in the area.

Now that Roads and Maritime Services have ordered Forbes Shire Council to install a weighbridge, which would cost millions of dollars that the council does not have, the Government have simply passed the buck.

At the same time, a recent Auditor General’s report showed that the government has only allocated 18.5% of the legislated 30% of funds in the Restart NSW program, a program initiated to fund infrastructure throughout NSW, to regional and rural areas.

Such funds could be spent on a weighbridge and so much more.

With transport being a major industry in Parkes, it’s a no-brainer that if the transport industry suffers, so does the entire community.

I’ve raised this issue with the Minister for Roads, Melinda Pavey, asking her to provide the necessary funding for supply, installation and ongoing management of a weighbridge in Forbes.

Her response was to ask the region to jump through another hoop by seeking funding from the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle and Safety Productivity Program.

I will continue to pursue the delivery of funding for essential infrastructure such as this project.

Movember

It’s that time of year when all the bad moustaches appear, but it’s for a very important cause.

Movember raises awareness for men’s health issues: prostate cancer rates expected to double in the next few years; testicular cancer having already doubled in the last 50 years; and that’s not to mention alarming rates of suicide among men.

If you’d like to support me, go to: mobro.co/philipdonato

                                                                                         Philip Donato