Industry concerns confirmed over VMAs
AGFORCE has taken aim at the state government for failing to listen to concerns about the Vegetation Management Act, after a government-led inquiry found the VMA to have contributed to last year’s bushfires.
A review by the Inspector-General of Emergency Management found the “overly bureaucratic, restrictive and confusing nature” of the VMA severely restricted landowners in preventing and managing bushfires, recommending they be overhauled.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the IGEM’s finding that the VMA exacerbated the fires that destroyed over 520,000 hectares of Queensland farmland and national park, killing thousands of wild animals and livestock was “shocking, but not surprising.”
“We have been warning the Government of the dangers of these ill-considered, ideologically-dogmatic laws for nearly two years,” Mr Guerin said.
“The 2018 bushfires proved that the VMA was impractical, if not impossible, from a landholder’s perspective, and prevented them from implementing effective fire prevention measures, such as adequate backburns and firebreaks.
“I endorse the report’s recommendation that ‘legislation relating to vegetation management, bushfire mitigation and hazard reduction be re-assed, to enable more appropriate and flexible means at the local level for the reduction of intense fires’.”