New stock laws miss the mark

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

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.

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