Claims min­is­ters are farmer bash­ing

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

DES­PER­A­TION to hold on to their in­ner-city seats has driven two La­bor min­is­ters into “farmer bash­ing” and “dis­tort­ing fig­ures about veg­e­ta­tion clear­ing”, ac­cord­ing to mem­ber for Gympie Tony Per­rett.

Mr Per­rett said dis­hon­est claims were made by the Deputy Pre­mier and Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment de­spite veg­e­ta­tion across Queens­land thick­en­ing faster than it was be­ing cleared.

“The claims are noth­ing more than purely about sav­ing their po­lit­i­cal skins by de­mon­is­ing re­gional land­hold­ers in or­der to ap­pease the wealthy, un­pro­duc­tive in­ner-city green zealots,” he said.

“It is pure elec­tion­eer­ing by two left-wing min­is­ters who are trash­ing the rep­u­ta­tions of farm­ers and land­hold­ers.

“Us­ing emo­tive lan­guage and non­sense com­par­isons to paint a dooms­day sce­nario, the fear-mon­ger­ing over the re­lease of the 2015-2016 Statewide Land and Tree Cover Study (SLATS) was true to form for the La­bor Govern­ment, which pays lip-ser­vice to the re­gions.

“To bump up their fig­ures over land clear­ing rates they in­cluded such prac­tices as fod­der har­vest­ing to feed starv­ing live­stock, and clear­ing fire-breaks and fence lines as ‘broad scale land clear­ing’. There was no con­sid­er­a­tion of veg­e­ta­tion thick­en­ing rates or ac­knowl­edge­ment that farm­ers are al­ready un­able to clear rem­nant veg­e­ta­tion.

“Not con­sid­er­ing thick­en­ing rates is like watch­ing the tide go out and then claim­ing the sea wa­ter has dis­ap­peared.”

Mr Per­rett said he was not aware of any broad scale clear­ing in the Gympie re­gion.

“As a land­holder and gra­zier my ob­ser­va­tion is that it is thick­en­ing faster than it can be con­trolled in ar­eas that have pre­vi­ously been cleared, or had ab­so­lutely no his­tory of clear­ing,” Mr Per­rett said.

PHOTO: FRANCES KLEIN

Mem­ber for Gympie Tony Per­rett.

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