- The Palaszczuk Government ramps up its political retribution against Queensland farmers
- Assessments of High Value Agriculture applications grind to a halt as Jackie Trad issues ‘pens down’ order to her Department
- Vindictive Trad ignores wishes of Queensland Parliament and seeks bureaucratic revenge on farmers
The Palaszczuk Government has ramped up its political retribution against Queensland farmers by interfering in the assessment process for High Value Agriculture applications to ensure they are not approved.
Shadow Natural Resources Minister, Andrew Cripps, said Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad and Environment Minister, Steven Miles were spearheading Labor’s vindictive rearguard action to deny the agriculture sector legitimate opportunities to grow.
“As part of its 2013 reforms, the LNP introduced a permit for High Value Agriculture which encouraged new agricultural areas to be created in Queensland to boost production and grow jobs in regional Queensland,” Mr Cripps said.
“The far lefties in Labor like Trad and Miles were determined to scrap our laws but failed spectacularly when their changes were voted down by Queensland Parliament.
“I’m not surprised to learn that applications for new high value agriculture (HVA) projects are now grinding to a halt, given Labor’s open hostility towards the policy.”
Mr Cripps said Labor’s 2015 election win prompted a dramatic fall in HVA applications and changes to administrative guidelines which prevented projects from being approved.
“Public servants involved with HVA applications were told to put their pencils down on the day the new Labor Ministers walked through the doors and there has been a general ‘go-slow’ order in place ever since,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has set the bar so high that virtually no HVA project will be able to get an approval while ever Labor remains in office.
“Labor’s interference in the HVA assessment process is evident from a sharp decline in approvals in 2015 and virtually no approvals this year – despite Labor’s proposed changes being rejected by Parliament.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that these figures will be masking a large number of applications in limbo, waiting for a decision. I’m also aware of a number of cases where farmers have had their applications flatly refused and lodgment fees refunded.
“Jackie Trad and Steven Miles need to butt out of the assessment process for High Value Agriculture and let the democratic decision of the Queensland Parliament stand.”