FARMERS have told the Palaszczuk government to focus on the positive outcomes being delivered to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef, rather than constantly complaining about their failure to pass ill-conceived vegetation management laws.
AgForce president Grant Maudsley said it was extremely disappointing environment minister Steven Miles was still pouting about the Palaszczuk Government's failed attempt to introduce poor policy that would drive up food prices, cripple regional development and cost jobs.
Dr Miles yesterday told a swipe at rural industry saying parliament would act on land clearing as soon as a majority of members in Queensland's Parliament are willing to put the reef ahead of their petty political interests.
"While there is undoubtedly more work to be done, the Reef 2050 Plan annual report showed an enormous amount of progress was being made in a short amount of time, and that's the key message the minister should be delivering to UNESCO this week," Mr Maudsley said.
"The agricultural sector is doing its bit to improve water quality through the roll-out of best management practice programs which help farmers benchmark their business against the best industry standards using the best available science.
"Over the past three years, more than 2000 Queensland farmers in priority reef catchments have engaged and implemented management practice changes in an area in excess of 1.3 million hectares.
"Despite the recent drought in many reef catchments, ground cover received a very positive rating with over 70 per cent coverage of all grazing land. That's significant as good ground cover reduces excess sediment run-off.
"That's why it is so incredibly disappointing and frustrating that the environment minister is still moaning about the Parliament's rejection of bad vegetation management laws, rather than talking up the many good outcomes being achieved by farmers and other stakeholders."
Mr Maudsley said the antics of politicians in Canberra and Brisbane this week were incredibly damaging for our agricultural and tourism industries.
"With the Senate shenanigans over the backpacker tax and the reckless reef scaremongering from the Palaszczuk government, farmers have had enough of being treated as pawns in politicians' silly games," he said.
"The reality is that everyone, including governments, farmers, graziers, developers, the resources sector, traditional owners, tourism operators and members of the community must be part of the solution to protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef now and into the future."