WIMMERA yabby farmer Trevor Domaschenz has won a two-year battle against Victoria’s seafood regulating body PrimeSafe.
The Patyah farmer has been battling PrimeSafe after changes to regulations made it difficult for him to sell yabbies following 20 years in the industry.
“When my licence to sell yabbies was refused by PrimeSafe in 2011 because of changed regulations, I took it to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal,” he said.
Mr Domaschenz was legally unrepresented but had help from his family and colleagues.
“Two years and nine hearings later, we won against the government’s best lawyers,” he said.
“We might not be smarter, but we were simply right and ever-so-slightly pig headed.”
He said because of a court order against PrimeSafe, he was now in the process of becoming the sole Victorian yabby farmer able to legally sell yabbies to eat.
While he was pleased with the outcome, Mr Domaschenz said he would keep fighting for a full inquiry into PrimeSafe.
“I am a very small voice with even fewer resources,” he said.
Mr Domaschenz said PrimeSafe regulations had caused the downfall of 213 small businesses which supplied the Victorian food industry with yabbies.
“No-one has ever been ill from eating a yabby, yet since 2004 PrimeSafe has forced the closure of every family yabby food business using the same heavy-handed, unjustified, unresearched and unscientific regulations,” he said.
A Rural and Regional Parliamentary Committee recommended in March that seafood businesses should not be regulated by PrimeSafe, following a parliamentary inquiry into the competitiveness and regulatory burden of processing standards on businesses regulated by the authority.
“I want a Royal Commission into PrimeSafe,” Mr Domaschenz said.
He has created a Facebook page called the Victorian Yabby Party.
“It is not a political organisation, but a lobby group,” he said.
“It is so hard as a small business to be heard and reinstating those businesses which have closed is a very small step.
“But many very small steps takes you a very long way.
“I want change and I won’t stop until I get it.”