AgForce’s grow­ing con­cern

The Cairns Post - - LIFESTYLE - AN­DREA FALVO

THE “un­set­tled sci­ence” around the amount of veg­e­ta­tion grow­ing in Queens­land com­pared to how much is be­ing cleared has led to new calls from AgForce for the State Gov­ern­ment to re­think its pro­posed new land clear­ing laws.

AgForce gen­eral pres­i­dent Grant Maud­s­ley said the Palaszczuk gov­ern­ment was push­ing ahead with harsh new veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment re- stric­tions de­spite ad­mit­ting they had only ex­am­ined clear­ing rates not re­growth rates.

Fol­low­ing a protest rally and pub­lic hear­ing in Cairns last Fri­day, the pro­posed new laws have been sent to the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Agri­cul­tural Com­mit­tee.

A re­port will be sent back to par­lia­ment on April 23.

“Farm­ers love and care for their land and need to man­age veg­e­ta­tion and re­growth on their prop­er­ties to sus­tain­ably pro­duce the great food and fi­bre con­sumers de­mand,” Mr Maud­s­ley said.

He said AgForce was re­quest­ing an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the sci­en­tific data around veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment, in­clud­ing de­ter­min­ing what knowl­edge gaps ex­isted in the re­search.

“We’re all in this to­gether,” he said.

“Let’s find a long-last­ing so­lu­tion that de­liv­ers good out­comes for the en­vi­ron­ment and agri­cul­ture with­out stran­gling farm­ers in red tape.”

Pic­ture: BRENDAN RADKE

TAK­ING STAND: Peter In­der­b­itzin, Peter Spies, Tom Spies, Ni­cole Tobin and Gerry Val­lianos joined about 50 land own­ers and their fam­i­lies in a protest against the pro­posed new laws in front of Craig Craw­ford's of­fice at Smithfield.

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