29 November 2022. By AgForce CEO Michael Guerin.

Why ruin a perfectly good story with the truth?

It’s an excellent question, and one I have thought long and hard about this week.

For when the Australian Conservation Foundation launches an unprovoked attack on Queensland farmers - AgForce fights back.

Using the latest State Government data from 2018/2019, the anti-agriculture organisation has maliciously accused producers of illegal land clearing under Federal laws.

Apparently, figures reveal 415,000 hectares of land was illegally cleared in Queensland across that period, and of this about 404,000 hectares was cleared by pastoralists to create more grass for their livestock to feed on.

A perfect example of cherry-picking statistics if ever there was one, and, in the spirit of a fair battle, two can play at that game.

The Statewide Landcover and Trees Survey (SLATS) - which uses state-of-the-art satellite technology - sets a new benchmark for tracking tree coverage, and puts pay to outlandish claims by greenies that the State is a “deforestation hotspot.”

The findings reveal just 0.2 per cent of regulated vegetation in Queensland was cleared for sustainable production in 2018/19, and that the limited amount of unexplained clearing of remnant vegetation has remained the same since 2017 – at just 0.04 per cent of the vegetative cover.

In addition, only 29 per cent of clearing (197,400ha) occurred in vegetation regulated by the Queensland Government, with the vast majority within the regulatory framework.

This latest information tells an undeniably good story, and with so much at stake these days - environmentally, climatically, socially, and economically – it’s never been more important to spread a positive message.

In reality, there has been no significant clearing of trees in Queensland, and sensational claims of land clearing the size of football pitches are just not true.

Our farmers value protected plant and animal species, and they are united in their desire to produce safe, delicious, healthy food for the rest of us in Australia and throughout the world.

I challenge the ACF to dig a little deeper next time they embark on a mission to vilify farmers.

Manipulating figures to paint a picture for the media is disingenuous, and not helpful for anyone.