Labor “Byrne-ing” bridges with Queensland farmers




  • Bill Byrne proves a leopard never changes its spots – declaring he’ll revisit Labor’s failed tree clearing laws less than three months after they were voted down
  • Four days into his return to the portfolio, Bill Byrne wants to sell out farmers to appease the Greens in Jackie Trad’s south-east Queensland electorate
  • Third change of Agriculture Minister in less than two years – but agriculture sector already crossing its fingers for number four

Four days into his return to the portfolio, recycled Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne has today confirmed he wants to revisit Labor’s failed tree clearing laws, proving he’s learnt nothing since he last occupied the chair.

Shadow Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said despite Labor’s anti-farmer legislation being categorically defeated on the floor of Parliament less than three months ago, Bill Byrne had joined Environment Minister Steven Miles and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to reignite Labor’s attack.

“Bill Byrne is proof a leopard never changes its spots – three months ago Labor was willing to sell out our farmers for the Green vote in south-east Queensland and it turns out they still are,” Mr Cripps said.

“After fighting so hard for so long, Queensland farmers have every reason to be concerned and disappointed that this issue has reared its head less than three months after the Parliament voted to reject Labor’s changes.

“What part of the unequivocal ‘NO’ from Queensland farmers did Bill Byrne interpret as an invitation to “reset the debate” – the answer from our agriculture sector, from regional communities and Parliament couldn’t have been clearer.

“Just four days into his old job, Bill Byrne has opened the door to more uncertainty for the regional Queenslanders and farming families he’s meant to be fighting for.”

Shadow Agriculture Minister Dale Last said it was extraordinary that Bill Byrne and Labor would even think to revisit these laws – laws that were widely condemned and would make farmers criminals on their own land.

“Bill Byrne’s comments should send alarm bells for all landholders. Vegetation management laws are well and truly back on the agenda with his reappointment,” Mr Last said.

“Labor refused to listen to the Queensland Law Society on just how unfair their tree-clearing laws were and they refused to listen to the Property Council which warned the laws would drive up house prices.

“The only people they will listen to are the inner-Brisbane radical Greens.

“The LNP’s existing laws got the balance right between protecting Queensland vegetation and wildlife and supporting our rural families.

“This is the third change of Minister the agriculture sector has been dealt with in less than two years – you wouldn’t blame them if they’re already crossing their fingers for number four.”

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