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“Stop tinkering with land laws, scrap them and start again”: AgForce

Beef Central, 30/06/2016

Reports the Queensland Government is now considering dumping a controversial clause from its proposed vegetation management bill that would render farmers guilty of breaches until they can prove their innocence has been branded a “clayton’s promise” by AgForce Queensland.

AgForce says it is aware of media reports the Palaszczuk Government is likely to dump the reverse onus of proof part of its proposed vegetation management laws.

The Palaszczuk Government should instead scrap all of its proposed changes and start the process again, Agforce president Grant Maudsley said in a press release on Wednesday.

Mr Maudsley said the Government should “not just tinker around the edges” if it was serious about growing agriculture and creating jobs in regional Queensland.

Reports the Palaszczuk Government was likely to dump the controversial reverse onus of proof requirement was a “”Clayton’s compromise” that was always going to happen”.

“Reversing the onus of proof would have made farmers guilty until they proved their innocence and was criticised by respected industry organisations including the Queensland Law Society so it is no surprise the Queensland Government will move to drop that element of their proposed laws,” he said.

“This is the compromise you have when you are not really compromising and we would hope MPs like Peter Wellington and Billy Gordon aren’t fooled by such transparent political tricks.

“Queensland agriculture has the potential to grow from $17 billion a year to $30 billion over the next decade, delivering new jobs and opportunities in our regions. But to grow, we need sensible land management laws.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s proposed changes to vegetation management laws will drive up food prices, shut down regional development and ultimately cost jobs.

“If the Palaszczuk Government was serious about creating more jobs in regional Queensland, they would scrap these proposed laws altogether, hit the reset button and start the process over again.

“AgForce have always said we are willing to work through a science and evidence based process on this legislation.

“Farmers just want a fair go. All we are asking for is fair laws for farmers.”

AgForce recently launched a “Far Laws for Farmers” campaign – more information about AgForce’s campaign is available at this website: www.fairlawsforfarmers.com

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