Vegetation law through overnight

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members are today frustrated and disappointed following the passing of poor and unbalanced vegetation management legislation by the Queensland Government overnight.

QFF President Stuart Armitage said despite the Liberal National Party (LNP) putting forward reasonable amendments, the Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 has been enacted into law without changes.

“Longer term, these laws will have a devastating effect on Queensland’s agricultural sector and its reliant regional communities, and they are not the stable solution that we need,” Mr Armitage said in a statement released this morning.

“Farmers do not deserve to be the collateral damage of an election promise which has now become a vexed issue. The debate around these laws needs to mature and a proper process must be conducted.”

“With the inevitable political theatre now out of the way, let’s hope there is an opportunity for a more rational discussion. QFF and members have been calling for this for years, and we remain willing participants.”

“A sustainable solution will only be reached through an inclusive, transparent and independent process that is based on the full picture of science and evidence.”

“Farmers, regional communities and the environment deserve a stable, workable vegetation management framework that properly addresses environmental, social and economic sustainability.”

“We must have workable legislation that provides the much needed, long-term solution for the benefit of all Queenslanders. It’s in everyone’s interest that we get it right.”

Local state member for Southern Downs James Lister this week blasted the laws during parliamentary debate, calling them “an affront to property rights” and saying they made “a mockery of the government’s claim to govern for all Queenslanders”.

“This bill has been crafted by the phalanx of green extremists that the Labor Party outsources its environmental policy to,” Mr Lister told parliament.

“It is a bill that proposes to disadvantage the hardworking people who operate farms and live and work in the rural communities of this state.

“It is all about appeasing those green groups.

“This bill is designed to arouse a city and bush divide.

“It cynically manipulates the debate and casts farmers and people in the bush as backward environmental wreckers.

“That is completely unacceptable.”

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