Farmers to protest in Brisbane streets as country comes to city

Farmers to protest in Brisbane streets as country comes to city

Farmers will take to the streets of Brisbane next month to protest against proposed land management laws that would drive up food prices, stifle regional development and cost jobs.

Rural advocacy group AgForce is organising the protest rally on 4 August– the first to be held in Brisbane in the organisation’s history – to coincide with the commencement of Ekka.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said the Ekka was when the country came to the city and it was a timely opportunity to send a message to politicians to ‘support fair laws for farmers’.

“Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of the Queensland economy and has the potential to grow from $17 billion a year to $30 billion a year over the next decade, but only if we have sensible land management laws,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s proposed vegetation management laws will make it harder for us to grow our businesses, which means fewer job opportunities in regions crying out for more jobs.

“For consumers, it will mean higher beef prices as supply will be restricted at the same time as demand for our high quality food and fibre is growing significantly.”

Mr Maudsley said farmers 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 figures show an increase of more than 400,000 hectares of new wooded vegetation cover for the period of 2010 to 2014,” he said.

“AgForce has always said we are willing to work through a science and evidence based process on this legislation, but the Queensland Government has been more interested in appeasing extreme green views than developing good policies.

“Farmers very rarely take to the streets to protest against Government decisions, and this is the first time in AgForce’s history that we have organised a march to Parliament House in Brisbane.

“That’s an indication of how angry farmers are with constant changes to vegetation management laws that do more harm than good.  Enough is enough. Farmers just want fair laws that allow us to get on with the job of producing food and fibre for Australia and the rest of the world.”

The Brisbane protest march follows roadside rallies in Emerald and Rockhampton, a forum in Lakeland and a protest in Gordonvale outside Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s office, while another protest rally is planned for Townsville this weekend.

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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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