Candidate for free education

Hitting the pavement: Labor Polwarth candidate Doug Johnston joined the throng of people who flocked to the Kerr and Co Livestock Feature Spring Cattle Sale last Thursday.

LABOR’S candidate for the Lower House seat of Polwarth Doug Johnston joined a sea of curious spectators and enthusiastic bidders in Mortlake at last Thursday’s Kerr and Co Livestock Feature Spring Cattle Sale.

The Freshwater Creek farmer spoke to other farmers present on the day about their major concerns at the Western Victoria Livestock Exchange (WVLX) last week.

Mr Johnston also expressed his support for the Andrews Labor Government’s Free TAFE for Priority Courses program, which would cover the tuition fees for 30 priority non-apprenticeship courses and 20 Victorian apprenticeship pathway courses.

“As a graduate of TAFE, it’s been beneficial for me,” he said.

“I really recommend TAFE.”

Interest healthy: A number of spectators and bidders lined the rows of thousands of cattle looking for a bargain.

Mr Johnston said the program would provide young agriculture students with easier access to education and the greater workforce.

“The flow-on effect to our agricultural industry will be huge,” he said.

“It will create an even wider skill network than we already have.

“It would have to be a good thing.”

Speaking on the scale of the spring sale and the WVLX site, Mr Johnston said he was “very impressed” with the facilities on offer and the volume of people who had come to spectate and bid during the day.

He and his partner Jan currently operate a farm in Birregurra, which has hosted Murray Grey, F1 Angus and Hereford cattle and Limousin bulls.

“Farming has been in my family for over 60 years,” Mr Johnston said.

Kerr and Co livestock partner Craig Pertzel said support came from South Australia, New South Wales and throughout Victoria.

“It was the inaugural Kerr and Co Livestock Feature Spring Cattle Sale at Mortlake with just over 3400 cattle penned, in what has since been described by some local Mortlake producers as the best yarding of cattle seen in Mortlake in 25 years,” he said.

“Kerr and Co were thrilled with the state-of-the-art facility and how well the cattle settled and were presented in the pens, which gave the very large crowd a wonderful ability to inspect and view the cattle.”

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