Our last chance to make Reef science make sense

Our last chance to make Reef science make sense

Opinion
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The senate inquiry into Reef science is our last chance for a fair go and for the public to be able to hear our side of the story.

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Primary producers and regional communities up and down the coast are holding their collective breath to see whether the senate inquiry into Reef science can prevent an avoidable - but absolutely comprehensive - disaster.

The state government's rollout of its new Reef regulations and standards over the next two years will have irreversible adverse impacts on the Reef, on agriculture, and on the Queensland economy.

And it will come at a time when Queensland can least afford it.

AgForce and other producer and community groups have invested decades of blood, sweat and tears trying to get the state government to see sense and withdraw this legislation, which is based on dogma, unproven models and theory, not on evidence-based science.

It is also based on the ridiculous - and quite frankly insulting - premise that farmers don't care for the Reef and just don't want to be regulated.

What. Complete. Rubbish.

Queensland farmers - whether we produce cane, cattle, grains, or fruit and veg - lead the world in developing and adopting sustainable operations. Completely voluntarily.

Because it's the right thing to do. But also because it's the smart thing to do.

Our business is working with our land to grow sustainable food and fibre that feeds and clothes not just Queenslanders, not just Australians, but people throughout the world.

Our soil is not only our livelihood but our legacy for future generations, including our kids.

To hear people suggest - as I did in the senate inquiry yesterday - that producers are carelessly letting soil and expensive farm chemicals run off onto the Reef is not only insulting, it defies common sense.

Quite frankly, we have no confidence in modelled Reef science accusing farmers of declining water quality.

We must thank Queensland Senators Susan McDonald, James McGrath and Matt Canavan for driving this inquiry, for it is quite honestly - is quite literally - our last chance for a fair go and for the public to be able to hear our side of the story.

We can only hope our well-reasoned yet impassioned testimony to the inquiry makes a difference and helps the state government see sense on Reef science.

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