LIVESTOCK producers are calling for fees charged to use Queensland's unique stock route system be increased.
AgForce Cattle director and Cloncurry grazier Peter Hall said that access fees covered just four per cent of the costs of maintaining the network, with the shortfall being met by local councils.
"This is clearly unsatisfactory and unsustainable. It places an unfair impost on councils and general ratepayers," Mr Hall said.
"AgForce is pushing strongly for a system in which the stock route network pays for itself via user access costs.
Mr Hall said the current fees were set decades ago and were so low they encouraged poor behaviour and misuse of the stock routes merely for grazing, rather than for the intended purpose of transit.
"This is not about raising fees to prevent access to the network, quite the opposite. This is about ensuring fees are fair and reasonable to maintain the network for generations to come," he said.
"They don't allow local governments to recoup the actual costs associated with managing the network, let alone undertaking remediation or improvements."
AgForce, the Local Government Association of Queensland and drovers are participating in a review of the fees and strategy being undertaken by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
Workshops were held in Longreach, Roma, Emerald and Kingaroy with the recommendations from these events considered at a final workshop in Brisbane.
The general agreement was:
- Major stock routes should primarily be managed for travelling stock.
- Further guidance provided to users as to when slow moving stock are permitted on the network.
- Travel and agistment permit fees should be increased.
- Application fees should be charged for travelling stock and agistment and directed back into the network.