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QLD vegetation vote a victory for common sense

AgForce has welcomed the Queensland Parliament's decision to reject proposed changes to vegetation management laws that would have driven up food prices, stifled regional development and cost jobs.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said the defeat of the Palaszczuk Government's ill-conceived laws now provided an opportunity to step back and develop a bipartisan, workable vegetation management policy that could stand the test of time.

"The Palaszczuk Government's vegetation management laws were opposed by the agricultural sector, indigenous groups, the mining industry, the property industry and lawyers, among others, so the defeat of these laws will be welcomed by many people right across Queensland," he said.

"This vote is a victory for common sense. It shows that good policy can overcome bad politics. 

"We thank the Opposition, the Katter Party and the Member for Cook Billy Gordon for standing up for good policy by voting against these laws.

"The reality is farmers care about the environment we live and work in every day, and we manage vegetation so we can provide food for Australian and overseas consumers.

"AgForce has always said we are willing to work through a science and evidence based process, but the Queensland Government has been more interested in green politics than developing good policies.

[QLD agriculture] could grow from $17 billion a year to $30 billion a year over the next decade, but only if we have sensible land management laws
Grant Maudsley, President, AgForce QLD

"All we have been asking for is fair laws for farmers so we can grow our businesses to produce more food and create more jobs for Queenslanders."

Mr Maudsley thanked the many hundreds of farmers who became involved in the debate by giving evidence at Parliament committee hearings, taking part in protest rallies, telling their personal stories to the media or getting the message out via social media.

"Since 1999, farmers have borne the brunt of 38 amendments to vegetation laws, with the vast majority of the changes made on the back of political promises not environmental logic," he said.

"Let's hope now that everyone can take a breath, we can step back and come up with a process that will lead to laws that have bi-partisan support, that stand the test of time and provide certainty to landholders.

"Agriculture is one of the foundations of the Queensland economy and could grow from $17 billion a year to $30 billion a year over the next decade, but only if we have sensible land management laws."

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