Labor hit over fire threat
Claims law exacerbated bushfires
FARMERS are demanding a far-reaching commission of inquiry into the state’s weeklong, destructive infernos and have blamed the State Government’s “green-inspired” landclearing laws for exacerbating the bushfires.
As the devastating damage bill and emotional toll mounts, peak farming group AgForce and individual farmers have accused the Government’s “confusing” and constantly changing Vegetation Management Act of preventing them from protecting their land from fire.
Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said a judicial inquiry – just like the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry in 2011 – was needed to “get to the bottom” of whether Labor’s laws contributed to Central Queensland’s fires.
AgForce Queensland’s senior policy adviser Greg Leach backed the call.
It has also emerged Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered the State Government use of the Australian Defence Force to help in the recovery but it has been refused.
In a letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd and Dawson MP George Christensen said there were 300 soldiers from 7th Brigade and 75 from 3rd Brigade on standby, ready to help.
Queensland Senator James McGrath moved in the Senate yesterday a motion that recognised the Queensland Government’s laws prevented landholders from properly protecting their property from bushfires.
It was tied, which means, it was defeated.
Labor did not support it and One National Senator Pauline Hanson did not turn up for the vote.
Farmers have taken to social media, blaming the Government’s laws for making it hard to get rid of growth, which created more fuel for bushfires.
Dr Leach said the State Government’s amendments to vegetation management laws had made conditions worse on the ground for landholders.
He said the Vegetation Management Act, introduced by Labor 20 years ago, had been amended more than 40 times, and was confusing for farmers.
DEVASTATION: Bushfires have wreaked havoc across the state over the past week.