The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members are frustrated and disappointed with this weeks’ reintroduction of vegetation management legislation into Queensland Parliament and say the move comes without any science behind it.
QFF President Stuart Armitage says the legislation was poor and unbalanced, and it should not have been introduced without first going through an inclusive, evidence-based consultation process involving all key stakeholders.
“QFF has always, and continues to, advocate for a sensible vegetation management framework that properly addresses environmental, social and economic sustainability and provides much needed certainty. This is in everyone’s interest, regardless of your position on the issue.”
“With an electoral mandate, the government had the opportunity to put solutions-focused policy above politics and conduct a proper process. Unfortunately, it has acted irresponsibly and not done this.”
The proposed Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 now moves to the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development (SDNRAID) Committee for consultation.
“That responsibility now falls on the SDNRAID Committee, and we will see if Queensland’s ‘house of review’ has any relevance or not. The proposed removal of high value agriculture and irrigated high value agriculture shows a lack of understanding and objectivity, and is a serious mistake.”
“If the Committee is fair dinkum, it will listen to the genuine concerns of the farming community and accommodate constructive, evidence-based advice to recommend the stable, workable vegetation management framework that farmers, regional communities and the environment deserve.”
Mr Armitage says that if the Committee doesn’t deliver the policy accountability it is supposed to on this vexed issue, then the Parliamentary Committee process should be scrapped and taxpayers money saved.
“QFF and members look forward to providing constructive, evidence-based advice to the committee and the government to ensure the much needed, balanced, long term solution to this issue can be realised.”