Farmers seek clarity on veg management

Green groups have refused to negotiate with farmers, many of whom are battling severe drought.

AgForce General-President Grant Maudsley said green groups believed they have senior Queensland Labor Ministers in their pocket and don’t need to negotiate to get an outcome that works for both sides and for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

“Minister Anthony Lynham last week announced a round table to find a solution to these issues but this will only work if all parties come together in good faith,” Mr Maudsley said.

“We are willing to work with the State Government to build consensus around our approach to future vegetation management.”

Mr Maudsley said a report released today by AgForce highlights the link between the rates of vegetation clearing and Queensland’s variable rainfall.

“Wet weather and cyclone events in 2010 required an increase in clearing rates in 2011 and 2012, with woody vegetation growth above average,” he said.

“Now farmers and producers are facing a different set of challenges and need to be able to manage their land in a drought.”

The AgForce Queensland report, titled Sustainable vegetation management by Queensland producers shows the science and data used by agriculture to get the balance between food production and the environment.

It shows the need for future decisions about vegetation management legislation to be based on science and evidence and not influenced by advocacy campaigns.

Recent scrutiny of work around Cape York and near Augathella has shown farmers are fully compliant in terms of responsibly clearing land for agricultural use.

The report shows:

  • Less than one per cent of Queensland’s woody vegetation is cleared annually
  • Clearing for High Value Agriculture prepares for variable climate and produces food and fibre for the increasing world population
  • Ground cover, not tree cover, determines erosion risk

“Farmers are looking for certainty for long-term management and investment decisions,” Mr Maudsley said.

“We want to ensure that vegetation management laws align with the evidence available. That’s the best outcome for agriculture and the environment.”

To view the report, click here.

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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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