SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council’s Cr Meg Edwards’ plan to see an electronic alert raised for when stock strayed on to local roads, was voted down by fellow councillors.
Cr Edwards put forward a motion at last Wednesday’s (July 25) meeting, urging a partnership between Council and the Victorian Farmers Federation, Rural Councils Victoria, National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO).
Most councillors rejected the plan on the basis of a possible cost impost to ratepayers or farmers.
“Thank you for allowing me to bring this forward, for this is the only forum I have to bring a topic up and have a discussion. I value that and I valued that it has come out into the forum,” Cr Edwards said.
Cr Rich raised a point of order, pointing out that there were other forums for such topics. Mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt rejected it as an opinion.
“I’d just like to clarify a few things, because I think there has been some misunderstandings,” Cr Edwards said.
She said there would be not financial impost to anyone, only the opportunity to look at ways to save money and time.
“There’s only one local laws officer who resides in the Shire. If he’s not available, the next closest person is an hour and a half away,” she said.
She said that a message could potentially be sent straight to farmers alerting them to the fact that their stock was out on the road.
Cr Lorraine Brunt asked how many times stock had been reported out on the roads in the last financial year.
Acting director development services Renae Littlejohn, who was in Chambers at the time of proceedings, promptly gave the answer.
“There’s been 62 afterhours call outs and during hours, 207,” she said.
\While Cr Ray Argento initially argued against the motion on the basis of a potential cost, he ultimately supported it, along with councillors Kiel, McEwen and Edwards. Councillors Rich, Skinner, Hill, Brunt and Brown voted against the motion.