TIME TO RALLY
With a parliamentary committee recommending vegetation management laws be passed without any changes, farmers now have their final chance to make a stand
QUEENSLAND farmers are angry and bitterly disappointed after a parliamentary committee recommended “flawed” vegetation management laws be passed without any changes, according to AgForce Queensland.
The committee made a number of recommendations including that the Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Bill 2018 be passed. Some other recommendations included issuing landholders with a local guide sheet to help them with the application of new vegetation clearing codes, to appoint additional extension officers in local hubs to help foster positive relationships and engagement with the communities, and a review of the accepted vegetation clearing codes within three years.
Charleville farmer and advocate for the mulga lands Scott Sargood was not impressed with the recommendations made by the parliamentary committee.
“I thought they should be embarrassed with what they put forward,” he said.
“Because to take absolutely no notice at all of the people
out here who are actually feeding them is an insult to the people in the bush.
“What they’ve put forward in some places they’ve actually created more bureaucracy and red tape then we’ve already got.”
Mr Sargood believes the agricultural industry is losing out, Queensland is losing out, but the Labor Party is winning.
“Regardless of how many people they’ve got who are opposing it, they’ve got no idea about how we live and where we live,” he said.
“It’d be like us telling them where to build the Story Bridge or whatever they’re building down there.
“The way I see it, they’ve sacrificed Queensland for their own political careers. It’s a career decision not at the best interest of the state.
“They’re biting off the hand that feeds them. It’s short term gain, long term pain.
“I don’t think the Labor Party is the Labor party anymore, they’re not considering the workers at all.
“When the next parliament sits is when they will probably pass the bill.”
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said the recommendation from Labor MPs on the committee was an absolute disgrace and a slap in the face for farming families who took the time to have their say and travelled vast distances to give evidence.
“These laws are the worst of both worlds. The changes will make it harder for farmers to grow food and fibre, shut down agricultural development opportunities and lead to worse, not better, environmental outcomes,” he said.
“Farmers love and care for their land and the vast majority know how to manage it responsibly.
“Farmers have had enough. It doesn’t have to be like this. There is no need to ram these flawed laws through as quickly as possible. We’re all in this together, we all eat food and we all care for the environment.”
To read the recommendations head to www.parliament.qld.gov.au and search for vegetation management.
FIRED UP: AgForce president Grant Maudsley (centre) will lead a protest at Parliament House in Brisbane next week.
UNHAPPY FARMER: Mulga lands advocate Scott Sargood says the parliamentary committee’s recommendations to pass vegetation management laws as they stand are an insult to the people in the bush.