It has now been almost a year since the historic vote in the Queensland Parliament on August 18, 2016 that saw the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed vegetation management laws defeated.
At the time, the failure of the laws was blamed partly on Labor’s refusal to ‘consult and compromise’.
However, a year later, the Palaszczuk Government still refuses to consult, compromise and commit to a bi-partisan, workable land use policy that stands the test of time.
Instead, key government figures maintain they will re-introduce the same flawed laws if re-elected, and make it a priority in their election strategy.
Worse still, it appears Labor is also gearing up to make an election policy commitment to bring back the much maligned Wild Rivers legislation.
With Queensland agriculture already affected by over 75 Acts and regulations covering almost 18,000 pages, it’s frustrating and disappointing that there are moves to bring in even more unnecessary red tape.
All that does is make it even more difficult and more expensive for farmers to produce high-quality food and fibre for consumers here and abroad.
AgForce believes better environmental outcomes can be achieved by supporting voluntary landholder conservation activities through programs like Grazing BMP and Nature Refuges, rather than adding more layers of regulation.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I believe farmers are the true environmentalists. We love and care for our land, and know how to manage it responsibly.
All we are asking for is fair and balanced policies that allow us to increase our productivity and profitability, while at the same time delivering good environmental outcomes.
There is so much potential for high value crops and sustainable development, but we need sensible land use laws and government policies that take agriculture forward, not hold us back.
Unfortunately, at the moment, it looks like the Palaszczuk Government is more interested in securing Greens preferences in Brisbane than they are in creating jobs in regional, rural and remote Queensland.
That’s not good for the future of agriculture, and that’s not good for the future of Queensland.