Farmers federation hits out at red tape burden
THE Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the Australian Government Productivity Commission’s draft report on the ‘Regulation of Australian Agriculture’ that has called for a return to evidence based regulation of the sector.
The Commission identified what QFF and industry members have been saying for a long time: that the amount and complexity of regulations at every stage of the supply chain weighs heavily on the sector’s productivity and competitiveness.
QFF president Stuart Armitage stated that the duplication across governments, inconsistency, redundancy of regulation and cumulative burden across the entire agriculture sector must be addressed for Queensland agriculture to realise its potential.
“Queensland farmers do not dispute the necessity and worth of regulations on farm business practices.
“The industry does however expect that the rationale and justification for these regulations be based in evidence and on a realistic understanding of community values.”
“It is clear from the Commission’s draft report that the current regulatory heavy model imposed on Queensland farmers falls short of this and is having a significant and disproportionate impact on farm businesses.”
Mr Armitage said QFF supports in principle a number of the draft recommendations including:
evidence and risk based reforms to native vegetation and biodiversity regulation
market-based approaches to recognise the environmental services landholders provide to the community
improving the way governments engage with landholders about environmental regulations
expediting implementation of a national control-of-use regime for agricultural and veterinary chemicals that is based on evidence and risk
ensuring that the requirements for moving oversized agricultural machinery are proportionate to the risks involved.
“These are issues QFF and our industry members have continued to lobby and work constructively with all levels of government to improve and reform.”
The draft report highlighted the uncertainly ongoing changes to regulation creates in the agricultural sector – with particular reference to the fluctuations in native vegetation management in Queensland – and how this can unnecessarily restrict farm management decisions and reduce investment.
“QFF and its industry members will continue to work constructively with all levels of government to reduce ineffective red and green tape to ensure the potential across Queensland agriculture is realised,” said Mr Armitage.