14 March 2023. By AgForce CEO Michael Guerin.
At AgForce there are no secrets.
I may pinch a Tim Tam from the CFO’s drawer from time to time (sssh don’t tell anyone), but ultimately our organisation operates in good faith – honestly, ethically, and for the greater good of members and the industry we know and love.
But transparency is a two-way street.
And unfortunately, not everyone holds themselves to the same standards.
Take the Queensland Herbarium for instance.
The organisation’s research focuses on the conservation assessment and management of Queensland’s species and ecosystems.
That’s all well and good, but what about sharing that information with the rest of the world?
If recent goings on are anything to go by then it looks like the Herbarium prefers to take a shadier approach to its business dealings.
Recently, it sought changes to the Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill that would allow it to make updates to the Vegetation Management Regional Ecosystem Description Database and release them unannounced.
Such blatant disregard for open and honest communication would have resulted in producers undertaking vegetation management activities completely unaware of any changes to veg mapping – with dire consequences.
So AgForce sprang into action.
Through our submission to the Bill, we sought to maintain the transparency so desperately needed – and we won.
Our advocacy supported any changes being subject to scrutiny by Queensland Parliament, reducing the risk that landholders are, through no fault of their own, caught out on vegetation management.
George Washington once said, “Truth will ultimately prevail when there is pains taken to bring it to light.”
Never has a truer word been spoken.
It is too often the case these days that agriculture is painted in an unfavourable light, particularly when it comes to vegetation management.
But our farmers have nothing to hide.
They manage their land to ensure our landscapes are healthy and regenerative – critical to maintaining grazing lands and the food production capability some take for granted.
The very least they deserve is the same transparency in return.