Opinion: What will it take for farmers to be heard by govt?

AgForce says 'enough is enough'

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"AgForce is going to make a stand against this latest assault on our families and farms."

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Last week, I visited the Charleville property of cattle producers Cameron and Jacqui Tickell.

They have been running their 12,900-hectare property Ryalstone for eight years and are making great progress in building it into a profitable agribusiness and fine legacy for their three young children, Lucy, Sophie and Tom.

Cameron and Jacqui are typical of the new generation: educated, energetic, optimistic, full of ideas, and passionate about agriculture.

However, their situation demonstrates all that is wrong with the state government's attitude towards farmers.

The Tickells are trying to develop their property into a productive, drought-resistant and sustainable cattle business that benefits the environment by conserving water, reducing erosion, and sequestering carbon.

However, their ability to create a landscape that hosts a healthy balance of plant species is being stymied by a Vegetation Management Act that is actually creating adverse environmental outcomes.

The VMA was introduced and has been fiercely defended against scientific research, on-the-ground-observations and common sense by a Government that has decided producers aren't worth listening to.

Even as the Tickells were describing the effects of this terrible legislation, the State Government again demonstrated their contempt for producers.

They passed without a single change their Reef Protections Bill, which will impose impractical and unreasonable restrictions on producers without guaranteeing any benefit for the Reef.

This is despite AgForce, other peak bodies and producers making more than 200 written submissions objecting to part or all of the Bill on scientific and practical grounds, and doing the same at the last-minute, token regional consultation sessions.

Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a long, long line of such examples, and today we say enough is enough.

AgForce is going to make a stand against this latest assault on our families and farms and, although I can't say more yet, 'watch this space'.

We will show the government that the people who provide our food and clothing cannot and will not be ignored.

- AgForce CEO Michael Guerin

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