AgForce is calling for supporters of agriculture to take to the streets of Brisbane this week to protest against proposed laws that would drive up food prices, stifle regional development and cost jobs.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said primary producers would march down George Street to Parliament House from 12.30pm on Thursday 4 August 2016 to call for ‘fair laws for farmers’.
“The Queensland Labor Government has shown their complete disregard for the agricultural sector by introducing politically driven changes to the Vegetation Management Act at a time when their own data has shown there has been an increase in woody vegetation cover,” he said.
“Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of the Queensland economy and could grow from $17 billion a year to $30 billion a year over the next decade, but only with sensible land management laws.
“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 prices as supply will be restricted at the same time as demand for our high quality food and fibre is growing significantly.
“The Ekka is when the country comes to the city and when show-goers get the opportunity to learn more about where their food comes from and how it is produced, so it is a good time to send a message to the Queensland Government to stop attacking farmers for just doing their job.”
Mr Maudsley said the agricultural sector, the mining industry, the property development sector, indigenous groups and lawyers had all voiced opposition to the proposed changes.
“These laws are so flawed that even the Government’s own corporation Ergon put in a submission warning the changes could mean higher electricity prices and connection delays,” he said.
“Our members are proud custodians of their land and AgForce has always said that we are willing to work through a science and evidence based process on this legislation, but the State Government has been more interested in appeasing extreme green views than developing good policies.
“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.
“Thirty-eight amendments to vegetation management laws since 1999 is just a joke. Enough is enough. We’re not asking for much – we’re just asking for fair laws for farmers.”