Under the Landmate program, minimum security prisoners undertake land reparation, weed removal, river restoration and other environmental work, without cost.
The program is operated by the Department of Justice and Regulation, and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Daniel Andrews recently introduced a $400 per day charge for private landowners and some community organisations to access the Landmate program.
A male prisoners told ABC Western Victoria in February – ”We get to put back into the community, we actually get to see what we have helped, we have done something.”
In Question Time in the Legislative Council on Thursday 12 November 2015, the Special Minister of State was asked by the Coalition;
”What is the basis of the decision, which comes at a time when many farmers are struggling to pay the bills as a result of failed crops and a dry winter and spring?”
Comments from the Shadow Police Minister Edward O’Donohue;
”This is yet another cash grab from Daniel Andrews after he wasted nearly $1 billion to not build the East West Link and now he wants farmers and community groups to pay for his waste.”
”Daniel Andrews and his city-centric government are completely out of touch with the needs of regional Victoria.”