Reduce regulation to unlock Queensland agriculture’s full potential

Reduce regulation to unlock Queensland agriculture’s full potential

A draft Productivity Commission report released today shines the spotlight on the need to reduce the red tape burden on farm businesses to unlock Queensland agriculture’s full potential.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said the report highlighted that farm businesses were ‘subject to a vast and complex array of regulations’ at every stage of the supply chain and it was important these regulations were evidence based, effective and targeted.

“Farmers recognise that regulation is important, particularly in areas like biosecurity and food safety, but there is no doubt there are other examples of environmental and transport regulations that add unnecessary costs to farmers’ businesses,” he said.

“A rapid desktop review AgForce conducted as part of our submission to this inquiry showed that just at a state level, Queensland agriculture was affected by almost 18,000 pages of regulations in more than 75 Acts of Parliament.

“Queensland agriculture has the potential to grow from $17 billion a year to $30 billion a year over the next decade, providing jobs and opportunities for thousands of Queenslanders, but we need sensible rules and regulations from Government if we are to deliver on our full potential.”

Mr Maudsley said the comprehensive report addressed many issues AgForce raised in a submission and meeting with the Productivity Commission including:
•    Identifying that native vegetation regulations need fundamental change so that risks and impacts are considered at a landscape-wide scale, and economic and social factors are taken into account;
•    Improving transport regulations, including reviewing the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, gazetting more heavy vehicle access routes, minimising the use of permits and improving competition in coastal shipping; and
•    Greater use of trusted international assessments to speed up the registration of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

“This report emphasises the importance of involving and consulting with industry in developing regulations and ensuring producers are clearly informed of their obligations – something that is often lacking from Governments at all levels,” he said.

“AgForce will consider this draft report in more detail in the coming weeks and look forward to engaging further with the Productivity Commission as it develops its final report.”

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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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