News

Qld veg management laws pass | ‘dark day for ag’: AgForce + Video

Beef Central, 04/05/2018


Video: AgForce CEO Mike Geurin speaks about the passing of the veg management laws in Queensland overnight. 

 

NEW agricultural development opportunities have been shut down and the cost of producing food and fibre in Queensland will be forced higher as a result of vegetation management laws passed in the State’s Parliament overnight, rural group AgForce says.

After failing to win Parliamentary support for tougher vegetation management laws on farmers during its last term, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has wasted no time pushing through new laws now it has a majority.

It’s new vegetation management laws were passed in Parliament overnight, less than two months after the new bill underpinning the laws was introduced.

A concern continually reiterated by landholders and ex Government rangeland scientists during the short public consultation period provided was that the Queensland Government was ignoring decades of its own research which demonstrated the need for careful ongoing management to prevent detrimental woodland thickening.

They also challenged the Queensland’s Government’s actions in couching the area cleared in terms of the ‘number of football fields cleared’, without offering balancing context that clearing since previous laws were wound back represented less than 0.3 percent of the state’s vegetated area.

After last night’s laws were passed Queensland Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Palaszczuk Government’s reforms were based on science and were pivotal to protecting the state’s precious resources, including the Great Barrier Reef, for future generations.

“Today marks the delivery of our promise to tackle unsustainable clearing for all Queenslanders,” Dr Lynham said.

“This is balanced, measured and responsible legislation.

“High-value regrowth vegetation that has not been cleared for 15 years, and is part of an ‘endangered’ or at risk regional ecosystem vegetation, will now be protected.

“This reform, combined with better mapping and support for landholders, will result in the protection of 862,506 hectares of high value regrowth vegetation.”

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said nearly half, or 405,000 hectares of vegetation, now protected under the laws are in catchments that flow in to the Great Barrier Reef, and this would ensure the reef is protected along with the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it.

“These laws will also ensure we meet our global commitments to reduce our carbon emissions, including a transition to zero net emissions by 2050.”

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government had to act now to stop broadscale land clearing before it was too late.

“Scientific evidence shows that when the former LNP Government scrapped our land clearing laws, the annual rate of vegetation clearing almost quadrupled,” she said.

“Clearing in Queensland reached a rate of 1000 football fields being cleared every day and I’m pleased the Palaszczuk Government has now put an end to this.”

“Landholders will still be able to conduct necessary clearing for farm operations such as clearing to harvest fodder to feed stock, establish property infrastructure, control weeds, and disaster management or recovery.

“A dark day for ag”: AgForce

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said agriculture was the social and economic fabric of many Queensland regional and rural communities and the impact of these laws would be felt far beyond the farm gate.

“Farmers love and care for their land and only manage vegetation to sustainably produce the great food and fibre that consumers in Australia and overseas demand,” he said.

“These laws are the worst of both worlds. The changes make it harder for farmers to grow food and deliver worse not better environmental outcomes.

“It’s a real kick in the guts for the next generation of farmers who want to expand and grow their businesses but have now had their futures stolen away from them.

‘One thing is for sure – this is not over’

“One thing is for sure – this is not over. This is the beginning, not the end.

“Farming families have shown they can and will get much more active in explaining what they do, calling out misinformation and sharing stories of what life on the land is really like.

“The Palaszczuk Government ignores at their peril the tsunami of support farmers are receiving from people of all walks of life from all over Queensland – city and country.”

Mr Maudsley said AgForce had always maintained a willingness to take part in a science and evidence-based approach that looked at all the facts, including how much vegetation has grown, not just how much has been cleared.

“Vegetation management has been divisive for two decades and the Palaszczuk Government had an opportunity to develop a long-lasting solution, but they squandered it and rammed through flawed laws that just guarantee the political ping pong will continue,” he said.

“We’re not going to cop this. We’re going to keep fighting until we get fair and balanced laws that deliver good outcomes for agriculture and the environment without strangling farmers in red tape.

“It’s pretty simple – if farmers can’t feed their own families, they can’t feed yours. We’re all in this together, we all eat food, we all wear clothes, and we all care for the environment.”

Source: Qld Govt, AgForce. More details about farmers’ concerns and facts about vegetation management laws is available at www.agforceqld.org.au and www.atruestory.com.au

HAVE YOUR SAY

Your email address will not be published.

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.

Comments

  1. Paul Franks, 05/05/2018

    The real test will be her attendance at Beef 2018 and how she is treated. I know there will be a lot of what she speaks and represents on the ground.

  2. Jake Spooner, 04/05/2018

    It really is time to seriously look at splitting QLD so that regional QLD has it’s own voice. SEQ and the government doesn’t care about the regions, only staying in power and as Aileen has commented they don’t need regional QLD for that.

  3. Aileen Bradley, 04/05/2018

    Typically Labour Government ~ look after the town folk because their numbers can keep them in Government. They are not about the country, they are about what is in it for them. They want to bring in thousands of people from other countries and significantly increase the population but decrease food supplies. Where has common sense gone!!

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -
FREE!