A WIMMERA yabby farmer’s battle against Victoria’s seafood regulating body PrimeSafe has taken a step forward.
Patyah farmer Trevor Domaschenz has been battling PrimeSafe after changes to licensing regulations made it difficult for him to sell yabbies after 20 years in the industry.
After taking the seafood regulator to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a court order against PrimeSafe earlier this year meant that he would be able to sell yabbies again.
Mr Domaschenz told the Mail-Times on July 3 he would keep fighting for a full inquiry into PrimeSafe.
Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh has now tabled legislation in parliament that yabby farmers will no longer require licences to sell their yabbies.
But Mr Domaschenz said he did not trust parliament to deliver the necessary law change.
“Victoria has produced less than 300 kilograms of yabbies for food in the past three years – compared with four tonnes a week that comes in from NSW,” he said.
“I had two tonnes ready for sale at Christmas 2011 and a tonne in 2012 that I couldn’t sell because of PrimeSafe licence requirements which don’t apply anywhere else in Australia.”
Mr Domaschenz said Mr Walsh’s response had no hint of how or when the change would occur.
“If it is a law change, it might not happen in the life of this government,” he said.
“There is a simple way and I call on Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty to make the call to PrimeSafe chief executive Leonard Vallance and gain immediate exemption.”
Mr Domaschenz said he believed Mr Vallance had the power to exempt yabby farmers from licensing, without a law change.
“An exemption would allow myself and others to have a chance to contribute to the Victorian economy immediately rather than at some distant date,” he said.
Mr Domaschenz has also called for the community to support his fight and sign a petition.
He said the petition was available online at keepandshare.com.
He has also created a Facebook page called the Victorian Yabby Party.
“It is not a political organisation, but a lobby group,” he said.
Mr Domaschenz said he intended to stand as a candidate for the Upper House Western Victoria region in the state election.