Ripon farmers to be hit with more red tape over manure

News this week that the Andrews Labor Government is proceeding with plans to classify animal manure as industrial waste is another blow for farmers says Member for Ripon Louise Staley.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has decided that from 1 July, animal manure will be classified as industrial waste. This will impose significant restrictions on how farmers can store, transport and use animal manure.

Ms Staley said this was extremely disappointing.

“This is a massive blow to farmers right across Ripon. This move will whack farmers with another lot of red tape they don’t need, at a time when the burden of red tape needs to ease on farmers,” Ms Staley said.

“Animal manure clearly is not industrial waste. The EPA has been told this time and again by farmers, but from their offices in the middle of Melbourne, the EPA has completely ignored them.”

“The re-use of animal manure has been part of farming for centuries and has been done without risk to farmers, communities and consumers. This over-reach by Melbourne-based public servants has to be stopped.”

“For organic and biodynamic farmers, animal manure is their main source of fertiliser so to classify it as industrial waste has particular negative consequences for these farming systems.”

Ms Staley called on the Minister for Agriculture, Mary-Anne Thomas, to intervene and fix this mess.

“Mary-Anne Thomas has been Minister for Agriculture for a very short time, but she can make her mark and represent farmers and the agricultural industry by stopping this change. She needs to work for farmers by reducing red tape and looking for ways to support the industry, rather than dropping more forms and more costs on farmers when they don’t have the time or the money to deal with them.”