The Palaszczuk Labor Government, spearheaded by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, has unleashed a new level of pain for the bush and the suburbs with its draconian Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said while the LNP fought for and secured extra time for the parliamentary committee to take submissions and prepare a report on the Bill, its contents were obviously shaped by extreme green groups.
Mr Cripps said Labor’s Bill went much further than simply overturning amendments put in place by the former LNP Government in 2013.
“The provisions are much more extensive and aggressive, and this will be a new level of pain for the bush,” Mr Cripps said.
Shadow Minister Cripps said Palaszczuk Labor’s proposed laws were retrospective (March 17) and even though not yet passed by Parliament, would immediately shut-down farm management and development and apply a brake on investment and job-creation across Queensland.
“For example, Category R vegetation management restrictions are proposed to be extended into the eastern Cape York Peninsula, Fitzroy and Burnett/Mary regions, impacting on thousands of rural landholders for the first time,” he said.
“Labor’s Bill throws out the critically important High Value Agriculture and High Value Irrigated Agriculture pathways for the sustainable expansion of Queensland’s agriculture sector, bringing future growth in rural Queensland to a screaming halt.
“Freehold landholders will lose the ability to manage their regrowth vegetation, while severe breaches of civil liberties make an inglorious return, including the re-instatement of reversal of the onus of proof – meaning farmers will again be considered guilty until proven innocent.”
The LNP’s stance has been backed by the Queensland Property Industry Council, which represents Queensland’s second-largest industry sector employer.
Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia Chris Mountford said while much had been said about the impact on the bush, there’d been no consultation with the property industry on urban development and housing costs.
“The reality is that it (Labor’s laws) will directly affect the cost of housing in urban areas, like South East Queensland,” Mr Mountford said in a statement.
“These proposed laws actually go well beyond reversing the changes made to the Vegetation Management Act by the previous government.”