AgForce is in discussions with both the Queensland state government and the federal government advocating amendment of restrictive vegetation management laws that make it harder and more expensive for farmers to grow food.
The current laws impose restrictions on how farmers manage their land for food production, shut down new agricultural development, and lead to perverse environmental outcomes that could damage rather than improve regional landscapes.
The recently released draft Reef Regulations further highlight the need for industry to engage with government in developing workable solutions, rather than simply reaching for more regulation and red tape. If passed into law, the proposed bill has the potential for serious impacts on grain growers and graziers across the state.
The AgForce policy has always been that the landscape needs to be managed. Landholders understand that the uncontrolled regrowth and restricted access for weed control brought about by the Vegetative Management Act (VMA) creates feral landscapes that are a harbour for pest animals and plants and can become severe fire risks.
AgForce has also previously criticised the state government for using ‘selective science’ to justify the current vegetation management laws. We need to engage in a scientific, evidence-based approach to vegetation management that examines all the facts, including how much vegetation has regrown and why vegetation was being managed, not just how much has been cleared.
Farmers want fair, workable laws to grow more food, create more jobs and look after the environment. Farmers love and care for their land as much as anyone, and they know how to manage it responsibly, so you have to wonder why the Palaszczuk government wants to make their jobs more difficult. Remember, we’re all in this together. We all eat food and we all care for our environment. And if farmers can’t feed their own families, they can’t feed yours.
That’s why I’m calling on the Palaszczuk government to amend these flawed laws as quickly as possible and instead work on a long-lasting solution that delivers good outcomes for both agriculture and the environment. Our food is far too important to be caught up in politics year after year and election after election.