The public hearings into proposed new vegetation management laws are now over, but the campaign against these flawed and damaging changes will continue.
Listening to the evidence from landholders, it was obvious the Queensland Government has given little thought to how these changes will affect people on the ground in their day-to-day duties.
I was also gobsmacked the Queensland Government admitted it had not done any analysis of the social and economic impacts of the laws, and had no intention of doing so.
Similarly, the “science” used to justify these flawed laws is far from settled, which is why AgForce is calling for an independent review of the scientific data around vegetation management, including determining what knowledge gaps exist in the research.
I also note that many farmers have been drawing parallels between the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed vegetation management laws and the Gillard Government’s kneejerk ban of live cattle exports in 2011, which was subsequently overturned and is now the subject of a class action.
AgForce has held preliminary discussions with lawyers to discuss legal options, while we have also met with Indigenous groups who share our concerns over the economic impact of these flawed laws.
Indigenous leaders this week pointedly stated that a long campaign against the Bligh Labor Government’s Wild Rivers laws resulted in a court declaring parts of it invalid in 2014.
AgForce is similarly prepared to wage a long campaign on behalf of our members and we’ve recently revamped the ‘Fair Laws For Farmers’ website we established in 2016 with a message to all Queenslanders that this issue is important for ‘your food and our future’.
I encourage readers to visit http://yourfoodourfuture.com as well as the vegetation management page on AgForce’s website for more information and ways you can help in this continuing campaign.
We’re not going to cop this any more and we’re not going away.
Because our food is just too important to be caught up in politics.