Labor still not listening on vegetation management
The Palaszczuk Government has refused to amend its unfair changes to Queensland’s vegetation management framework and looks set to push through with the laws despite a wave of angry objections from regional communities. Shadow Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said the Agriculture and Environment Committee report gave Labor an opportunity to abandon its attack on farmers and landowners, but the government had dug its heal in to secure Greens preferences. Despite travelling across Queensland and witnessing first-hand the responsible work of landholders, Labor committee members have put politics ahead of good policy outcomes.
“The committee report recommended the ‘reversal of the onus of proof’ provision be removed, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the damage these laws are set to inflict of the agriculture sector.
“However the committee failed to recommend the equally offensive provisions withdrawing ‘mistake of fact’ as an available defence and the retrospectivity to 17 March 2016 also be removed.
“The Palaszczuk Government is so beholden to the Greens, Labor MPs on the committee ignored all the evidence and instead handed down a series of bland recommendations asking for Ministers to provide further information to the house.”
Mr Cripps said one redeeming feature of the report was the Statement of Reservation lodged by Deputy Chair and Gympie MP Tony Perrett, which highlighted the flaws in Labor’s bill exposed throughout the committee hearing.
“The LNP is working with AgForce Queensland and other rural lobby groups to make it clear to Labor that the former LNP Government’s common-sense changes to the vegetation framework, including high value agriculture permits and managing regrowth, must remain in place,” he said.
Mr Cripps encouraged Queenslanders concerned about the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed laws stand with farmers and support the petition which can be accessed on the Queensland Parliamentary website at: