‘Fair Laws For Farmers’ campaign hits Emerald streets

‘Fair Laws For Farmers’ campaign hits Emerald streets

The ‘Fair Laws for Farmers’ campaign hits the streets of Emerald today with local graziers holding a ‘roundabout rally’ to drive home the message that tougher vegetation management restrictions will cost jobs and push up food prices.

AgForce state councillor and Middlemount grazier John Baker said proposed changes to vegetation management laws supported by local State and Federal Labor politicians would stifle Central Queensland’s development and leave farmers with fewer rights than murderers and bikies.

“The proposed new laws will mean Central Queensland farmers will face new restrictions that will reduce the productivity of their land and make it harder to grow their business,” he said.

“These laws also deny farmers natural justice. The laws reverse the onus of proof meaning farmers are presumed guilty and have to prove their innocence. That means farmers have fewer rights and are treated worse than murderers and bikies.

“Farmers are fed up with being demonised on the eve of elections. The changes proposed by both the Palaszczuk Government and the Shorten Opposition are all about green politics, not good policy.

“Farmers just want a fair go. We’re calling on all Central Queenslanders to support fair laws for farmers.”

Mr Baker said farmers were the true environmentalists and worked hard to ensure their land was managed properly and sustainably.

“Managing vegetation doesn’t mean there are fewer trees. The State Government’s own data shows that tree coverage in Queensland increased by more than 400,000 hectares over the three years from 2012 to 2014,” he said.

“Central Queensland has been hit hard by the mining downturn so you would think the State Government would be doing everything it could to support regional jobs, not introducing laws that destroy job opportunities in key industry sectors like agriculture.

“It’s time politicians stopped using vegetation management as a political football and let farmers get on with the job of producing the high quality food and fibre Australia and the rest of the world wants.”

Central Queensland farmers will hold their Fair Laws for Farmers roundabout rally today from 3pm at the roundabout on the Capricorn Highway near Coles in Emerald.

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AgForce has been the unifying voice for Queensland's beef, sheep and grain producers since 1999. Our strength continues through our membership and a strategic vision to secure the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the agribusiness sector.

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