UPSET AT VEG LAWS
QUEENSLAND landholders are once again set to be banned from broad-scale clearing of vegetation after state parliament passed the Palaszczuk Government’s environmental laws last week.
The laws were passed late on Thursday night after three days of debate and protests outside Parliament House.
Warrego MP Ann Leahy said the week had been “absolutely horrendous” for landholders and their families.
“It’s been an appalling week in state parliament for not only farmers and their families, but for small businesses and communities right across regional Queensland, who will also suffer these destructive veg management laws brought in by the Palaszczuk Labor Government and rammed through parliament,” she said.
“The LNP stood up, we fought in every possible way we could, it was an absolute fight to the death,” she said.
“The changes to the fodder harvesting mean people won’t be able to run as many breeding stock as they have been able to in the past. Their profitability will be seriously impacted and, when you impact the profitability of those businesses and the farming businesses, you impact the profitability of every single person in rural and regional towns.”
Ms Leahy said the laws would contract the economy across rural and regional communities throughout the state.
“One thing that really disappoints me is that there is a great future for agriculture and food production for many good, young farmers across the region, and this will make it so much harder for them to be the next generation of good farmers.”
AgForce general president Grant Maudsley said agriculture was the social and economic fabric of many of Queensland’s regional and rural communities and the impact of these laws would be felt far beyond the farm gate.
“Farmers love and care for their land and only manage vegetation to sustainably produce the great food and fibre that consumers in Australia and overseas demand,” he said.
“It’s a real kick in the guts for the next generation of farmers who want to expand and grow their businesses but have now had their futures stolen away from them.
“One thing is for sure – this is not over. This is the beginning, not the end.
“Farming families have shown they can and will get much more active in explaining what they do, calling out misinformation and sharing stories of what life on the land is really like.
“The Palaszczuk Government ignores at their peril the tsunami of support farmers are receiving from people of all walks of life from all over Queensland – city and country.”
“Vegetation management has been divisive for two decades and the Palaszczuk Government had an opportunity to develop a long-lasting solution, but they squandered it and rammed through flawed laws that just guarantee the political ping-pong will continue,” he said.
“It’s pretty simple – if farmers can’t feed their own families, they can’t feed yours. We’re all in this together, we all eat food, we all wear clothes, and we all care for the environment.”
POINT OF VIEW: Rosalita Calcino, from Joylands, at the Charleville vegetation management rally in March this year.