As Queensland farmers continue to deal with the State Labor’s vegetation management laws, AgForce is turning additional attention to planned Federal Labor plans.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin has spoken with South East Queensland farmers at the weekend and the organisation has manned booths in the by-election seat of Longman to make the point.
Mr Guerin says there is real concern over the impact of Federal Labor’s proposal to introduce a new vegetation management “trigger” in Australia’s national environment law.
“With the Palaszczuk Government passing laws this year that make it harder for Queensland farmers to grow food and shut down new agricultural development opportunities, the last thing we need is for Federal Labor to impose more red tape on our industry”.
“This push for more red tape is in direct conflict with the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to reduce ‘overlap and duplication’ because vegetation regulations ‘often involve costly and complex processes’ that ‘do not always result in improved environmental outcomes’.”
“Making it more costly and complex to grow food could lead to higher grocery bills. With reduced supply and greater demand for a product, the only way prices can go is up.”
Mr Guerin says Labor Leader Bill Shorten claims to be ‘pro-farmer’ now has a real chance to be proven.
“Here’s his opportunity to prove it. Dump this flawed policy proposal to put another layer of regulations on our nation’s food producers and instead work with us on a sensible plan to grow agriculture and protect the environment.”
Mr Guerin says the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 needed to be streamlined, not made more complicated, with farmers warmly welcoming the independent review that was currently underway.