Broadacre farm group AgForce said the release of a government report into Reef protection shows the grazing industry continues to make strong progress in the adoption of sustainable on-farm practices.
In a media release issued this morning, AgForce CEO Robert Walker said the Reef Protection Package Impact statement showed that 70pc of graziers in reef catchment areas have completed Environmental Risk Management Plans to verify their on-farm efforts to reduce sediment runoff.
“We are pleased to finally have some recognition that graziers in reef areas are dedicated to improving land management practices and water quality,” Mr Walker said.
“So often green groups peddle the outdated notion that primary producers don’t care about the environment, but that insults the many graziers who genuinely care about their country. Producers have embraced cell or rotational grazing systems, revegetated riparian zones and fenced off natural water courses to reduce erosion.”
Mr Walker said AgForce is also frustrated that in releasing this report, the Bligh government is attempting to take the credit for decades of hard work by the grazing industry to improve on-farm management techniques.
“The Premier would have us believe that her regulation has driven the revolution in grazing practices, but the improvements we’re seeing are the result of industry-led change.
“These improvements in land management and water quality do not happen overnight nor can they reasonably be attributed to a regulatory imposition,” said Mr Walker.
AgForce argues that since the introduction of the State government’s Barrier Reef Protection Amendment Act 2009 money has been wasted on bureaucrats and red tape instead of supporting voluntary industry programs that make a real difference to the Reef environment.
“This government’s fixation on regulation has imposed another layer of costs on producers and limited the amount of money they have to spend on the ground.”
This election period AgForce urges all political parties to commit to incentive-based systems that recognise and reward sustainable land managers rather than penalising them.