Farmers thankful for veg extension
Victorian farmers have applauded the State Government for taking what they have called a common-sense approach in extending a deadline for farmers to voice concerns about a proposed overhaul of native vegetation regulations.
The government originally wanted all comments on its native vegetation proposal in by February, but agreed to stretch the deadline to March.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said the federation had argued the original date clashed with the annual grain harvest.
“We’ve always said the consultation period needed to be extended to give farmers the opportunity to get off the tractor and get their heads around what the government is proposing,” he said.
The VFF has been critical of the government’s proposed changes to native vegetation laws for ‘not reducing the unnecessary burden that makes life difficult for the state’s hardworking food producers’.
Mr Jochinke said the farmer group was disappointed a more extensive reworking of the ‘flawed’ guidelines was not reflected in the government’s proposal.
“We have argued for a simplified process for managing native vegetation across the state, providing a model that farmers can understand and work towards,” he said.
“But the current proposal is just a continuation of the same old red tape for farmers to deal with and limited recognition of the extensive revegetation works that farmers already undertake.”
Mr Jochinke said the government’s decision to extend the consultation deadline was an opportunity for farmers to take their concerns directly to the state’s decision makers.
“Now we’ve been granted an extension to lodge our concerns, it is vital that any farmers who are worried they will be impacted by these changes stand up and be heard, and tell the government just how the new laws would affect them.”
Mr Jochinke said comments and submissions would close on March 8 with people encouraged to lodge individual submissions online at engage.vic.gov.au/native-vegetation-review.