Five regional centres will be visited in three days next week for the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industries Development Committee to conduct public hearings into the Vegetation Management Amendment Bill.
Committee chairman, Chris Whiting, confirmed on Monday that hearings would take place in Rockhampton, Townsville, Cloncurry, Longreach and Charleville, and a site visit would also be undertaken at Cloncurry.
A public hearing will take place in Cairns after Easter, on April 13.
Already announced is a hearing in Brisbane this Friday, March 23, the day after written submissions close.
The Member for Warrego, Ann Leahy, said the two hours given for public hearings in Charleville was a disgrace.
“I would have thought they would have been a bit more conciliatory. This is going to leave a few people disappointed,” she said.
“In 2016 a lot of people wanted to have their say and they could speak at both Charleville and Roma.
“This legislation is worse and will affect more people, and I think the lack of meaningful consultation is a disgrace.”
Mr Whiting said the committee needed to return to Brisbane by 6pm next Thursday in order for members to travel to various destinations for Easter.
The Queensland Country Life reported last week that a request by AgForce for an extension of time for submissions to the Parliamentary inquiry would be considered at Monday’s committee briefing.
According to Mr Whiting, it was decided that if AgForce wanted an extension of time, it could be considered but this wouldn’t be extended to general submissions.
”We have to report back to Parliament by April 23,” he explained.
Gregory MP, Lachlan Millar, who has also been advocating for an extension of time for submissions, asked what the rush was.
“We’re going to have the distraction of Easter and the Commonwealth Games and then be asked to vote on this in the first hearing in May.
“Considering the impact it’s going to have on agriculture in this state, there’s no need to rush this.
“I ask again, why are they doing it this fast?”
Public hearings – days and times:
- March 27 – Rockhampton, 9-11.30am
- March 27 – Townsville, 4-6.30pm
- March 28 – Cloncurry, 1.30-4pm
- March 29 – Longreach, 8-10am
- March 29 – Charleville, 1-3pm
- April 13 – Cairns, 12-3pm
Further details on making submissions and registering to appear at a hearing are available on the Parliamentary website.