25 August 2022.

AgForce has accused Warrego MP Ann Leahy of “using farmers as political pawns”, after she claimed the organisation was in secret cahoots with the State Government.

Trouble began after AgForce signed an informal confidentiality agreement to be part of early consultation regarding proposed changes to the Environmental Protection Act.

Ms Leahy claims the legislation will give bureaucrats the power to shut down mining and farming projects and force farmers to cut the number of livestock they own.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the allegations were absurd.

“It saddens me to see farmers being used as pawns in a game of political point scoring,” he said.

“There is no secret deal between AgForce and Government, nor do we have any knowledge of any broad proposals to place more draconian laws across industry. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous at best.

“AgForce remains engaged as strongly as possibly with the Government of the day on the issues that matter to members.”

Mr Guerin said this was the first time AgForce had signed a confidentiality agreement of this nature.

“We signed it in order to have a seat at the table as early as possible, and out of good faith that the outcomes will benefit our members,” he said.

“Changes to the global conversation around climate, around landscapes, around the part that agriculture can play, are very important conversations and AgForce needs to be involved.

"Our understanding of these initial consultations is that they are designed to inform the public consultations that will follow before any legislative change takes place.

“Any so-called ‘secrecy’ is only temporary, and we would never be involved in anything that would adversely affect producers.

“If politicians want to add constructively to important conversations, AgForce believes there is a better way to do it than spreading mistruths.”


For media comments contact: AgForce CEO Michael Guerin 0488 002 092