New stock laws miss the mark
NEW laws that give councils full control of the 2.6 million hectares network for travelling livestock in Queensland miss the mark by failing to put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure the stock routes are managed properly, AgForce said.
AgForce Cattle Board director Peter Hall said the stock route network had been plagued by issues such as overgrazing by producers, weed infestations and an inadequate fee structure that meant infrastructure such as watering points were not maintained or renewed.
“Most Queensland livestock producers will have used the stock routes network at some time in their lives, either for travelling stock during a drought or as a short term supply of feed in good times,” he said.
“Stock route reform is long overdue and AgForce supports councils having responsibility for managing the stock route network and we support all funds raised being delivered back to local government for investment in the network.
“However, AgForce remains concerned about potential inconsistencies across councils, including whether they’ll allocate adequate resources and have the will to address issues like weeds and overgrazing. Effectively, the Queensland Government is handing over the reins of responsibility to councils at a time when we know some councils have little or no interest in managing an effective stock routes network. That’s why there is a need for the State Government to ensure continued oversight of the network.”
Mr Hall said AgForce had consistently maintained the organisation could not support the laws until seeing a copy of the associated regulations.