Line changes tick off some

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE - Rhi­an­non Tuffield Rhi­an­non.tuffield@south­bur­nett­times.com.au

AF­TER months of keep­ing the tick line at bay, Graeme Wicks has nar­rowly es­caped his prop­erty be­ing moved to the in­fected zone, but the Tin­goora farmer still holds con­cern about the new tick line frame­work.

Like many other farm­ers in the South Bur­nett, Mr Wicks has spent time and countless money to cam­paign against pro­posed changes to the frame­work.

Queens­land’s tick line was de­vel­oped to stop gra­ziers from moving in­fected cattle on to clean prop­er­ties.

The line had moved over the decades, with pro­duc­ers in the con­trol zone re­spon­si­ble for de­fend­ing the tick line and to keep their land tick-free.

Mr Wicks said land­hold­ers felt let down over many years and the new changes, which would move the line fur­ther south, were dev­as­tat­ing for other farm­ers in the re­gion.

“Just con­sider the im­pli­ca­tions for those peo­ple who have spent thou­sands of dol­lars be­com­ing clean some 20 years ago and have main­tained their clean sta­tus and then have a gov­ern­ment bu­reau­crat draw a line on a map to say I don’t care about you, we’re go­ing to make you ticky,” Mr Wicks said.

“I feel ex­tremely sorry for those peo­ple who have been cut off and ig­nored. They’ve done a lot of hard work. And it’s not just this La­bor gov­ern­ment that’s done this – it’s been con­sec­u­tive gov­ern­ments of both per­sua­sions, so you can’t point your fin­ger at one.

“The bush has been robbed of fi­nances and as­sis­tance for years now and we’re slowly but surely edg­ing back­wards.”

The new cattle tick man­age­ment frame­work will be put in place on Fri­day, July 1.

Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Leanne Don­ald­son has an­nounced a “sim­pli­fied and stronger” cattle tick man­age­ment frame­work in Queens­land, which in­cludes the lo­ca­tion of the new tick line.

“We’ve sim­pli­fied and strength­ened the tick line by re­mov­ing the con­fus­ing con­trol zone and in some ar­eas align­ing the tick line with stronger dou­ble fenced bound­aries,” Ms Don­ald­son said.

“The new frame­work will pro­vide greater flex­i­bil­ity for pro­duc­ers, re­duce travel times, re­duce costs for in­dus­try, and, most im­por­tantly, it will con­tinue to pro­tect the cattle tick free zone.

“We have con­tin­u­ally heard from pro­duc­ers that a one size fits all ap­proach does not work and live­stock own­ers want con­trol of biose­cu­rity de­ci­sions that im­pact their busi­nesses.”

More than 1000 sur­veys were col­lected dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion on the lo­ca­tion of the tick line, as well as sub­mis­sions from in­dus­try groups and feed­back col­lected dur­ing pro­ducer meetings.

Three op­tions were on the ta­ble dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion process and Ms Don­ald­son said op­tion three would be im­ple­mented.

Visit www.daf.qld.gov .au/biose­cu­rity.

PHOTO: RHI­AN­NON TUFFIELD

NOT HAPPY: Graeme Wicks is con­cerned about the new tick line frame­work.

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