Vege frame­work

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

WE NEED to sta­bilise Queens­land’s veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment frame­work. I am dis­ap­pointed at the lack of gov­ern­ment-in­dus­try con­sul­ta­tion in the de­vel­op­ment of the pro­posed amend­ments.

It is es­sen­tial that laws to man­age na­tive veg­e­ta­tion on Queens­land agri­cul­tural prop­er­ties strike a bal­ance be­tween en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion as farm­ing un­der­pins cur­rent and fu­ture jobs and eco­nomic se­cu­rity in re­gional ar­eas.

Con­sul­ta­tion with key in­dus­try stake­hold­ers to an­a­lyse the po­ten­tial ef­fects of the amend­ments should be

es­sen­tial to the in­tro­duc­tion of new leg­is­la­tion, yet has not been the case.

Agri­cul­tural land hold­ers, given the ap­pro­pri­ate frame­work have proven they are best placed to make re­spon­si­ble de­ci­sions about the sus­tain­able man­age­ment of nat­u­ral re­sources.

For our cane grow­ers the key prob­lem is the leg­is­la­tion will sti­fle the projects tar­geted at cre­at­ing ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties within our re­gions.

The way the State Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted it­self will greatly im­pede en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture.

Grow­ers are meet­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ance de­mands, par­tic­u­larly Great Bar­rier Reef reg­u­la­tion

obli­ga­tions, un­der Smart­cane BMP, the in­dus­try best man­age­ment prac­tice pro­gram.

Un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws in­hibits grow­ers from plan­ning to ex­pand their busi­ness.

We need to sta­bilise Queens­land’s veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment frame­work in­clud­ing pro­vi­sions for High Value Agri­cul­ture and High Value Ir­ri­gated Agri­cul­tural land, self-as­sess­able clear­ing codes, and pro­vide in­cen­tives for proac­tive man­age­ment.

— Kerry Lat­ter, CEO Cane­grow­ers Mackay

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