AgForce is declaring a win for consultation and collaboration as it applauds the State Government for daring to listen to agriculture and make amendments to the proposed Reef regulations for new and expanded cropping.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said that while 1 June 2021 would still be a ticking time bomb for many producers living in Reef catchment areas, he was extremely pleased the State Government had learned from its previous experiences on land management.
“This is a line in the sand moment,” Mr Guerin said.
“The amendments to the initial proposed draft Standards for cropping outlined to us by the State Government are a tribute to the hard work of many within AgForce, as well as other industry groups who understand landholders are managing their land to protect every facet of the environment, including the Reef.
“We have said from the beginning the Reef and agriculture can co-exist, but that it would take genuine consultation from all sides to make changes to the proposed legislation, and that is what we have now seen.
“AgForce has never agreed with the ‘one size fits all’ approach to Reef.
“As is the case with land management, there is a lot of flawed science that has gone unreviewed by the broader scientific community but despite that it is still used to create crippling regulations for landholders.
“This defective science has been cherry-picked to meet the demands of green groups who stand ready to point the finger at agriculture because they need a scapegoat to continue to secure their own funding.
“But unlike with land management, it appears the State Government is beginning to listen to the growing number of dissenting voices.
“We haven’t received everything we’ve asked for, but this is still a watershed moment for this new State Government and agriculture.
“And we won’t be letting our negotiations rest there. There is far too much at stake for producers, for regional Queensland, and for every single Australian who values the uninterrupted supply of food and fibre as we recover from COVID.”
Mr Guerin said AgForce would also continue its calls for the Federal Government to establish an independent Office of Scientific Integrity to ensure reliable and robust science was front and centre of any future legislative decisions.
“Industry is united in its resolve to put an end to the Reef and other natural landscapes being used as political bargaining chips by self-appointed green groups,” Mr Guerin said.
“We are all about policy settings that support the environment and agriculture, not political ideology.
“An Office of Scientific Integrity would act as an independent arbiter and guarantee the environment is protected for the environment’s sake, and no one else’s.”
For media comments contact: AgForce CEO Michael Guerin 0488 002 092