Farm­ers in re­gion CQ seek prac­ti­cal ac­tions in elec­tion

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

QUEENS­LAND farm­ers con­tinue to em­brace in­dus­try-led best man­age­ment prac­tice pro­grams, demon­strat­ing their com­mit­ment to im­proved land man­age­ment prac­tices that re­duce agri­cul­ture’s im­pact on the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage, Cane­grow­ers chair­man Paul Schem­bri and AgForce gen­eral pres­i­dent Grant Maud­s­ley, urged all po­lit­i­cal par­ties to sup­port farm­ers within the reef catch­ments with long-term fund­ing for vol­un­tary BMP pro­grams.

“Over the last eight years, th­ese vol­un­tary pro­grams have sup­ported farm­ers to gain a more com­plete un­der­stand­ing of their busi­nesses and im­ple­ment im­prove­ments,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“In the past four years alone (2013–17), over 7500 Queens­land farm­ers have en­gaged with their in­dus­try-led BMP pro­grams. 2600 reef catch­ment farm­ers have been bench­marked against in­dus­try stan­dards and are work­ing to­wards im­prov­ing their land man­age­ment prac­tices.”

“Our sec­tor has been and con­tin­ues to be built on the triple bot­tom line. Farm­ers en­gaged in in­dus­try-led BMP pro­grams own their im­pact on their lo­cal area and the reef, im­prove their en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance, lead­ing to greater farm prof­itabil­ity.”

The three farm lead­ers also urged the next state gov­ern­ment not to in­tro­duce in­creased reg­u­la­tion in the reef catch­ments.

“QFF does not sup­port in­creas­ing reg­u­la­tion to ex­ist­ing or new agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries as it will not de­liver the in­tended cul­tural change needed. Reg­u­la­tion should be a last re­sort not a first re­sponse,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“Reg­u­la­tion is a blunt in­stru­ment that sup­ports min­i­mum stan­dards of com­pli­ance at the ex­pense of true prac­tice change, and it does lit­tle to en­cour­age a cul­ture of in­no­va­tion and ex­cel­lence.

“This elec­tion, QFF is ad­vo­cat­ing for sen­si­ble and prac­ti­cal ac­tions to re­alise our vi­sion for a vi­brant and thriv­ing agri­cul­tural sec­tor pro­vid­ing food, fi­bre and amenity to all Queens­lan­ders.”

The full QFF pol­icy plat­form and its sum­mary are avail­able at www.qff.org.au.

PHOTO: FILE

ELEC­TION COM­MIT­MENTS: In­dus­try lead­ers are seek­ing prac­ti­cal ac­tion from politi­cians.

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