LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Andrew Cripps , has warned regional Queenslanders that the new Labor Government was being two faced about its intentions regarding the state’s vegetation management framework.
Mr Cripps said last week’s press release from Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham, reassuring landholders that it was ‘business as usual’ in Queensland and promising consultation before any changes, was disingenuous and deceptive.
“Labor violently opposed the sensible changes the LNP made to the vegetation management framework in 2013 – Jackie Trad was vitriolic during the debate in the house, exposing the deep green bias that controls the ALP,” Mr Cripps said.
“I’ve no doubt rural industry groups have been pleading with Minister Lynham to try and save the balanced changes the LNP made to the Vegetation Management Act (VMA) from being overturned in the face of rampant lobbying by the greens.
“Minister Lynham’s media release is designed to try and calm down anxious farmers but as the former Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Jo-Ann Miller, has already stated Labor will overturn changes made by the LNP to the VMA.*
“Either Minister Lynham is deliberately misleading rural communities about Labor’s intentions, or he is out of the loop about what Labor promised to the greens in return for preferences to win seats in south east Queensland.”
Mr Cripps said he hoped Minister Lynham took the time to understand the LNP’s 2013 changes, including exemptions for high value agriculture, self-assessable codes for routine activities and reversing breaches of fundamental legislative principles.
“Minister Lynham has promised to consult, but he needs to come clean and tell industry and landholders what deals have already been done with the greens, because they remember Labor’s so-called vegetation management consultation of the past,” Mr Cripps said.
“If he wants to secure the productivity gains, improved administration and reduced costs to landholders that helped our agriculture sector, he will have to ensure the LNP’s Vegetation Management Act changes are not sacrificed to feed the green political monster.”
*Queensland Parliamentary Debates, 13 May 2013, page 1578