Many readers would be familiar with the movie Groundhog Day, in which the main character played by Bill Murray is forced to repeat the same day over and over again.
While the movie is a comedy, Queensland farmers certainly aren’t laughing about having to go through their own version of ‘Groundhog Day’ on vegetation management year after year.
Since its introduction in 1999, the Vegetation Management Act has been amended 38 times, confusing and frustrating landholders, providing no long-term certainty for farm businesses and eroding trust in government.
The re-election of the Palaszczuk Government means we are going to get whacked again, with the flawed laws rejected by the Queensland Parliament in 2016 to be brought back again.
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At a time when agriculture is the fastest growing industry in the country, our State Government wants to slam on the handbrake and stifle new regional job and development opportunities.
The proposed changes to vegetation management laws will destroy the asset values of some of our state’s agricultural land and hurt landholders looking to develop their farm businesses.
These very farmers will end up with potentially stranded assets due to government policy ineptitude and it will reverberate for years to come as increasing numbers of the next generation of farmers see fewer opportunities to grow and diversify.
AgForce will always stand up for our members and fight against what we believe is bad policy for the bush, and we’re pleased to be partnering with Queensland Country Life on the ‘Feeding Queensland’s Future’ campaign.
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This joint campaign will seek to shine a light on the positives of sustainable agricultural production and bust some of the myths peddled about vegetation management.
The assistance of farmers in sharing their stories, talking to local politicians and being part of public discussion, particularly on social media, is critical if we are to inform and shift the debate, both in the lead-up to the re-introduction of the flawed laws and beyond.
For our part, AgForce will continue to work hard both publicly and behind the scenes to ensure all Queensland politicians and the broader community understand just how important this issue is to the lives and livelihoods of rural Queenslanders.