LANDHOLDERS have hit back at the latest round of farmer bashing saying the Palaszczuk government continues to refuse to measure regrowth and how much vegetation has thickened.
AgForce president Grant Maudsley said landholders could not have any confidence in the Palaszczuk Government’s approach to vegetation management while they continued to misuse flawed and incomplete data in pursuit of their political agenda.
AgForce does not believe the Palaszczuk government is acting in good faith.
“The Queensland Government has been using satellite imagery for years to examine vegetation clearing, but they don’t or won’t measure regrowth and how much vegetation has thickened,” Mr Maudsley said.
“By completely rejecting previous parliamentary committee recommendations and failing to obtain and release all the relevant data, AgForce does not believe the Palaszczuk government is acting in good faith on this ‘Groundhog Day’ issue, or acting in the interests of all Queenslanders.
“With technology improving and becoming cheaper all the time, why is the Queensland Government only interested in using satellites to look at half the picture?”
On Tuesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed her re-elected government would introduce controversial tree laws that were previously rejected by parliament in August 2016.
Landholders argue that the politically driven laws, which have the support of extreme green groups, will restrict the growth of the $60 billion agricultural sector as well as delivering perverse environmental outcomes.
Mr Maudsley said AgForce had always been willing to engage in a scientific, evidence-based process on vegetation management.
“But that means looking at all the facts, not just some of them,” he said.
Mr Maudsley said there were tens of thousands of rural landholders in Queensland and the fact there were just three prosecutions in 2016-17 for illegal clearing showed the vast majority were doing the right thing.
“AgForce doesn’t condone landholders deliberately engaging in any illegal activity, and with the department monitoring land use changes via satellite every 16 days, anyone who has deliberately or accidentally cleared where they shouldn’t have will be identified fairly quickly,” he said.
“That’s why we strongly urge landholders to get a Property Map of Assessable Vegetation (PMAV) if they haven’t already to lock in what can and can’t be cleared, and to seek Departmental advice if they are unsure about their rights and responsibilities.”