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Mayor call for genuine consultation on vegetation laws

Mayor Anne Baker has called on the State Government to defer consideration of proposed changes to vegetation management laws to allow more time for genuine consultation to occur with affected landholders and the agricultural industry.

Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy introduced the Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 into Parliament on 8 March 2018, with the bill referred to the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee for consideration.

“In the space of less than two months, we have seen proposed legislation introduced into Parliament, a committee inquiry convened and public hearings undertaken, and recommendations referred back to the Parliament,” Mayor Baker said.

“The Parliament has three months to consider its response to the Committee’s report and recommendations, which were handed down on 23 April, yet the concern of the agricultural industry is that this matter could be determined in little more than a week.”

Mayor Baker said while she acknowledged the proposed changes to vegetation laws were an election commitment of the State Government in both 2015 and 2017, the speed at which the planned changes were being progressed was concerning.

“For such a significant shift in environmental policy, on an issue which has had such a long and controversial history, it appears political haste is outstripping principles of good government,” she said.

“On behalf of agricultural industry in the Isaac, I call on the State to refrain from rushing these proposed changes into law and to give our farmers and graziers the opportunity to contribute to genuine and inclusive consultation.

“Our landholders rely on their properties for their livelihoods, they deserve a seat at the table to collaborate on a real plan for the future, not have a policy position simply imposed upon them. This is about ensuring fairness and equity in the consideration process.”

To find out more you can hear farming families share their stories in “A True Story - From the Heart of Queensland”: