Firies from the St George Station were quickly on the scene of Monday's grass fire.
Firies from the St George Station were quickly on the scene of Monday's grass fire. Karen Berry

MP asks whether vegetation laws worsen fires

MINISTER for Agriculture David Littleproud has announced a House of Representatives inquiry into the impact of vegetation and land management policies on the agricultural sector. 

Minister Littleproud first flagged an inquiry in August and has been pushing for one in the months since.

The fires in Queensland have now provided the catalyst to get the numbers to make the Inquiry a reality. 

"The idea a farmer is too scared to make a proper firebreak is a joke. We need an easy process so this can be done to protect us from fires,” Mr Littleproud said.

"Departments need to be clear and quick when responding to landholders on this. 

"The absence of proper firebreaks on both public and private land is just dumb.” 

Mr Littleproud questioned whether a lack of cool burning on state-owned land contributed to recent fires.

"Have Queensland's vegetation management laws left more fuel load on farms?” he said.  

"I've often wondered whether indigenous land practices - could be incorporated into our modern land management now. 

"If Queensland's laws are locking up agricultures potential and making fires worse, we need to know about it.”                                                                     

Mr Littleproud said he would be inviting Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to appear and give evidence at the Inquiry.

"Queensland Labor's silence on these issues comes in the same week Queensland Labor has announced it will cut agricultural colleges in Longreach and Emerald - a callus abandonment of agriculture west of the divide gripped in one of the worse droughts on record,” he said. 

The inquiry will begin this month and is expected to report back by April.


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