MP: Scrap the bee lock out be­fore it crip­ples lo­cal crop in­dus­try

The Gympie Times - - NEWS -

THE lock-out of bee keep­ers from op­er­at­ing in na­tional parks should be scrapped be­fore it de­stroys a vi­tal sec­tor of Gympie’s hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­tries.

Gympie MP Tony Per­rett said an ur­gent review was needed to the pro­posed clo­sure of ac­cess to the parks at the end of 2024 be­fore it de­stroys Queens­land’s hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try which is worth tens of mil­lions of dol­lars.

“Un­der the Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion Act 1992 bee keep­ing will be banned from 2025 so I have writ­ten to both the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Bill Byrne, and Min­is­ter for Na­tional Parks, Steven Miles, seek­ing an ex­ten­sion to the dead­line or abol­ish­ing the de­ci­sion al­to­gether,” Mr Per­rett said.

“When it was en­acted bee keep­ers were promised that the gov­ern­ment would find al­ter­na­tive sources.

“Hor­ti­cul­ture and small crops in­dus­try will strug­gle to sur­vive with­out the bee keep­ers who work side by side with them en­sur­ing that crops such as straw­ber­ries, av­o­ca­does, wa­ter­melon and ma­cadamias are pol­li­nated.

“More than 65% of all Aus­tralia’s food sources are re­liant on bee pol­li­na­tion and the in­dus­try’s value to the broader Queens­land econ­omy is es­ti­mated to be worth $1 bil­lion from pol­li­na­tion ser­vices and $35 mil­lion to the honey in­dus­try.

“The gov­ern­ment needs to ur­gently review this pol­icy which could dev­as­tate lo­cal bee­keep­ing fam­i­lies and work­ers, our hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­tries, and have a detri­men­tal im­pact on the health of our lo­cal econ­omy,” he said.

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