Federal Labor land laws could inflict a hip pocket hit

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Federal Labor land laws could inflict a hip pocket hit
Monday, 2 Jul 2018

Federal Labor’s plan to impose more restrictions on how farmers manage their land could mean higher food prices at the checkout, a peak representative body for Queensland farmers warned today.

AgForce Queensland CEO Michael Guerin attended the Caboolture markets over the weekend to speak to voters in Longman about the impact of Federal Labor’s proposal to introduce a new vegetation management “trigger” in Australia’s national environment law.

“Farmers work hard to manage their land responsibly while producing the clean, green, high-quality food and fibre that consumers demand,” he said.

“With the Palaszczuk Government passing laws this year that make it harder for Queensland farmers to grow food and shut down new agricultural development opportunities, the last thing we need is for Federal Labor to impose more red tape on our industry.

“This push for more red tape is in direct conflict with the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to reduce ‘overlap and duplication’ because vegetation regulations ‘often involve costly and complex processes’ that ‘do not always result in improved environmental outcomes’.

“Making it more costly and complex to grow food could lead to higher grocery bills. With reduced supply and greater demand for a product, the only way prices can go is up.

“Bill Shorten claims to be ‘pro-farmer’ so here’s his opportunity to prove it. Dump this flawed policy proposal to put another layer of regulations on our nation’s food producers and instead work with us on a sensible plan to grow agriculture and protect the environment.”

Mr Guerin said the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 needed to be streamlined, not made more complicated, with farmers warmly welcoming the independent review that was currently underway.

“The EPBC Act generally lacks transparency in regards to the obligations of landholders and is in need of refinement to provide farmers with the certainty they need to do their jobs and grow their businesses,” he said.

“Farmers just want fair, balanced and workable laws from all levels of government so we can grow more food, create more jobs and look after the environment without being strangled in red tape. Because if farmers can’t feed their own families, they can’t feed yours.”

Photos of AgForce representatives at the Caboolture Markets are available via Dropbox at https://bit.ly/2z06NER

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

References: ‘ALP push for federal land laws’, The Australian, p 1, 16 May 2018

‘Regulation of Australian Agriculture’, Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, Nov 2016, p 105

‘Shorten says he’s not offended by Albanese’s Labor manifesto speech’, The Guardian online, 24 June 2018  https://bit.ly/2K62OeZ

Federal Labor land laws could inflict a hip pocket hit

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