CALL FOR FARMERS PERSECUTION TO END

Call For Farmers Persecution To End

CALL FOR FARMERS PERSECUTION TO END

13 January 2003

National Party Member for Lismore, Thomas George, today voiced his support of for the Opposition Leader, John Brogden's call for the Carr Government to immediately end its persecution of Kyogle Farmers Kathy & Bernie Day.

Mr Brogden said NSW Agriculture had improperly used more than $10,000 of taxpayers' money so far in a legal pursuit of Mr & Mrs Day.

"It is disgusting that in times of severe drought the Government is continuing its appalling pursuit of a couple over the discovery of cattle ticks on a single calf," Mr Brogden said.

"The Days are being driven into the ground over a $400 fine.

"Bob Carr & Richard Amery should hang their heads in shame, they should immediately call off the dogs, and leave this couple alone."

Ticks were found on one of six calves Bernie Day took to the Casino saleyards in February 2000. The Days had been assured by NSW Agriculture their property was tick free.

After legal advice they decided to pay the $400 fine, but were told by Minister for Agriculture Richard Amery that they would have to pay $10,000 in legal fees the department had spent on preparing the case.

The case proceeded to the Local Court where the Days lost and were fined $750 and ordered to pay costs of $12,499 within 28 days. The Days appealed and won in the Lismore District Court in May 2002.

But NSW Agriculture has appealed the District Court decision and the case is before the Court of Appeal in Sydney.

Mr George said he was outraged by the attitude of NSW Agriculture.

"The Days have done everything expected and asked of them in terms of tick eradication. They made one honest mistake in their 32 years on the land and are being persecuted for it.

"The Department of Agriculture should drop this case immediately and pay all legal fees," Mr George said.

While other examples exist of cattle ticks being found on cattle in the area, these farmers were not fined.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577