April 26th, 2018
The State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee report on the Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was handed down on Monday, 23 April and I am very disappointed in the recommendations contained in this report.
Non-government members on the committee including myself as Deputy Chair travelled to regional forums and listened to many concerned landowners across Queensland. I understand their concerns and I have provided a dissenting report which is attached at the back of the committee report starting on page 127.
I have tried to reflect the views of many of those farmers and landowners who are worried about the impact this legislation will have on their operations including industry bodies such as AgForce and The Queensland Famers Federation in my dissenting report. I share the disappointment that the views of so many of these people were not listened to.
There are several reasons we have opposed this legislation including the lack of meaningful consultation and proper cost analysis on the social and economic impacts this bill will have on regional Queensland. I also believe there are concerns with the justification of the removal of High Value Agricultural Land and Irrigated High Value Agricultural Land from the act and the proposed vegetation clearing code for mulga fodder harvesting is unworkable.
The maps for regrowth are inaccurate and incomplete, and this means the legislation does not reflect the whole story around vegetation management in Queensland. The committee report does make a number of recommendations but these are aimed at resolving the issues arising from the proposed legislation but without the changes to this legislation, those problems do not currently exist.
I would like to thank all those people who attended the hearings from communities around Longreach, Cloncurry, Charleville, Townsville, Rockhampton and Cairns and also those who made submissions to the committee.
I will be speaking against this legislation when the Bill comes before the house at the next sitting of Parliament.