Dark day for Queensland agriculture

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Dark day for Queensland agriculture
Friday, 4 May 2018

Today is a dark day for Queensland agriculture.

New agricultural development opportunities have been shut down and sustainable food and fibre production will be more complex and costly as a result of flawed vegetation management laws passed in Queensland Parliament overnight.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said agriculture was the social and economic fabric of many Queensland regional and rural communities and the impact of these laws would be felt far beyond the farm gate.

"Farmers love and care for their land and only manage vegetation to sustainably produce the great food and fibre that consumers in Australia and overseas demand," he said.

"These laws are the worst of both worlds. The changes make it harder for farmers to grow food and deliver worse not better environmental outcomes.

"It's a real kick in the guts for the next generation of farmers who want to expand and grow their businesses but have now had their futures stolen away from them.

"One thing is for sure – this is not over. This is the beginning, not the end.

"Farming families have shown they can and will get much more active in explaining what they do, calling out misinformation and sharing stories of what life on the land is really like.

"The Palaszczuk Government ignores at their peril the tsunami of support farmers are receiving from people of all walks of life from all over Queensland – city and country."

Mr Maudsley said AgForce had always maintained a willingness to take part in a science and evidence-based approach that looked at all the facts, including how much vegetation has grown, not just how much has been cleared.

"Vegetation management has been divisive for two decades and the Palaszczuk Government had an opportunity to develop a long-lasting solution, but they squandered it and rammed through flawed laws that just guarantee the political ping pong will continue," he said.

"We're not going to cop this. We're going to keep fighting until we get fair and balanced laws that deliver good outcomes for agriculture and the environment without strangling farmers in red tape.

"It's pretty simple – if farmers can't feed their own families, they can't feed yours. We're all in this together, we all eat food, we all wear clothes, and we all care for the environment."

More details about farmers' concerns and the facts about vegetation management laws is available at www.agforceqld.org.au and www.atruestory.com.au

**A Dropbox link with video of AgForce CEO Michael Guerin speaking about the passing of the vegetation management laws is available at: https://bit.ly/2Kvw37y

Media Contacts: Scott Whitby 0418 733 102, Sarah Henderson 0427 626 853

Dark day for Queensland agriculture

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