Fires prompt veg­e­ta­tion land man­age­ment in­quiry

Chinchilla News - - NEWS -

THE fires in Queens­land have pro­vided the cat­a­lyst to im­pel a Fed­eral In­quiry into veg­e­ta­tion laws and cool burns into a re­al­ity.

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture David Lit­tleproud said a House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­quiry into the im­pact of veg­e­ta­tion and land man­age­ment poli­cies on the agri­cul­tural sec­tor would be­gin this month.

Mr Lit­tleproud first flagged an in­quiry in Au­gust and has been push­ing for one in the months since.

“Qld La­bor had the chance to look at this prop­erly but they’ve squibbed it,” he said. “So we’ll do it.

“We need to have a real look at the im­pact of the Queens­land La­bor Gov­ern­ment’s na­tive prac­tices.

“The idea a farmer is too scared to make a proper fire­break is a joke; we need an easy process so this can be done to pro­tect us from fires.”

Mr Lit­tleproud said the ab­sence of proper fire­breaks on both pub­lic and pri­vate land was “just dumb”.

“Has lack of cool burn­ing on state-owned land con­trib­uted to fires?” he said.

“Has the Qld Gov­ern­ment done enough to make sure fires don’t spread from Na­tional Parks onto farms?

“Have Queens­land’s veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws left more fuel load on farms?”

“I’ve of­ten won­dered whether indige­nous land prac­tices could be in­cor­po­rated into our modern land man­age­ment now.”

Mr Lit­tleproud said if Queens­land’s laws were lock­ing up agri­cul­ture’s po­ten­tial and mak­ing fires worse, we needed to know about it.

“I’ll be invit­ing Queens­land Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to ap­pear and give ev­i­dence at the In­quiry as she was clearly the ar­chi­tect of them.”

AgForce gen­eral pres­i­dent Georgie Som­er­set wel­comed a Fed­eral Par­lia­men­tary In­quiry into veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment.

“We be­lieve a Par­lia­men­tary In­quiry will of­fer a suf­fi­ciently ro­bust and ob­jec­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion that will en­able sen­si­ble changes to veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws and pro­cesses and hope­fully pre­vent these sorts of tragedies in the fu­ture,” she said.

The in­quiry is ex­pected to re­port back by April.

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