12 months on: farmers still in the vegetation firing line

Vegetation management: farmers still in Palaszczuk's sights | Opinion


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12 MONTHS ON: Andrew Cripps, the LNP opposition's spokesman on natural resources says farmers are still in the Palaszczuk government's firing line.

12 MONTHS ON: Andrew Cripps, the LNP opposition's spokesman on natural resources says farmers are still in the Palaszczuk government's firing line.

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It's one year since the Palaszczuk government's draconian vegetation management bill was defeated.

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TODAY marks one year since the Palaszczuk Government’s unfair and unnecessary vegetation management bill was defeated in the Queensland Parliament. 

In the six months leading up to the bill failing to pass, there was a groundswell of opposition to Labor’s draconian and ideologically driven vegetation management policies.

As the LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, I had travelled extensively across Queensland speaking to those who would have been seriously impacted by the proposed changes.

I spoke at meetings in Lakeland, Bowen, Beaudesert, Aratula, Kingaroy, Toogoolawah, Gympie, Augathella, Roma, Clermont, Emerald and Rockhampton. 

I also marched at the head of rallies in Gordonvale, Townsville, Bundaberg and in George Street in the Brisbane CBD – despite Environment Minister Steven Miles insisting farmers and landholders shouldn’t be allowed to protest, because it was too political during Ekka week.

Along with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Miles has been Labor’s chief farmer-bashing minister.

There was a groundswell of opposition to Labor’s draconian and ideologically driven vegetation management policies.

There was a groundswell of opposition to Labor’s draconian and ideologically driven vegetation management policies.

I genuinely thank all those people who supported that grass-roots campaign to protect our property rights, opportunity for the agriculture sector and hope for regional and rural Queensland.

Thank you to the property and housing development sector, the indigenous groups who realised the impact Labor’s laws would have on them and the union representatives that supported us.

The Palaszczuk Government did not take the defeat very well – Labor has retaliated by blocking High Value Agriculture applications and moving to undermine the self-assessable codes.

The Palaszczuk Government has made it clear that they will continue to attack the financial viability and malign the reputation of farmers and landholders. - Andrew Cripps

Working alongside their partners in the extreme green movement, Labor has continued to spread misinformation and manipulate data from recent SLATS reports to scare urban Queenslanders.

The Palaszczuk Government and the green activists have counted fodder harvesting and thinning activities as clearing, which is both inappropriate and inaccurate.

The fearmongering has been relentless and the Palaszczuk Government has made it clear that they will continue to attack the financial viability and malign the reputation of farmers and landholders in the lead up to and during the coming state election campaign.  

If Labor is re-elected, they will overturn the LNP’s sensible and balance 2013 vegetation management laws and there is only one way to stop them – elected an LNP Government. 

This is a serious issue and make no mistake – there are no alternatives, no question of mucking around with minor parties or independents – the government must be changed. 

One year ago today we won the battle, but the war is far from over and we need to hold the line. 

- Andrew Cripps is the LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources.

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