NOT HAPPY: AgForce general president Grant Maudsley.
NOT HAPPY: AgForce general president Grant Maudsley. Contributed

Legal headache for farmers

VEGETATION management laws will be introduced in the first quarter of next year, and the agricultural industry is not happy.

AgForce general president Grant Maudsley had some strong words for the Palaszczuk State Government.

With the new laws coming into effect early 2016, Mr Maudsley said the State Government had turned its back on Queensland farmers.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk has today shown she is no friend of Ag," Mr Maudsley said.

With record drought across 86% of Queensland, Mr Maudsley said it was not the right time to lock-down vegetation management.

"Now's the time for the government to be supporting farmers, not making wild policy changes and deserting farmers," he said.

Mr Maudsley said he agreed if producers were doing the wrong thing he would support tough laws, but research showed more than 97% of farmers managed their land responsibly and lawfully.

RURAL FORUM: Grant Maudsley, General President Agforce in Toowoomba at the Agforce State conference . Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle
RURAL FORUM: Grant Maudsley, General President Agforce in Toowoomba at the Agforce State conference . Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 . Photo Nev Madsen / The Chronicle Nev Madsen

AgForce's Jim Cross, a Bunya Mountain landholder, said the legislation of vegetation would be "a bit of a headache" for people.

"Before people could go about their work in a sensible fashion but now it's going to revert back to what it was before," he said.

Mr Cross said the vegetation management would mean more restrictions to landholders, and could see them jumping through hoops to get anything done.

"It means you will have to get a permit every time you want to do something," he said.

"Ask the government for everything you want to do, quite a few limitations."

He said the new legislation would put farmers at an unfair disadvantage.

"If you buy a five-acre block in the city you can just about knock every tree down, flatten it," he said.

"But if we've got some trees on our farm, we've got to beg for every one we want to pull down."

With the changes, Mr Cross said the State Government was "running on an agenda, not on science".

"They're not listening to farmers, it's not a science-based thing."

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