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AgForce calls for study into social and economic impacts of vegetation laws

The Palaszczuk Government should order an independent study into the social and economic impacts of new vegetation management laws in the same vein as the study they commissioned last year into a proposed Defence land grab, AgForce said today.

The call comes after State Government officials told a Parliamentary committee examining the proposed new laws that no economic modelling had been prepared to consider the impact on agricultural production, and none was planned.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said there was widespread community concern about the flawed laws with farmers, council representatives, and local residents turning out in huge numbers to attend rallies and speak at public hearings right throughout Queensland.

“The fact hundreds of people turned up to a public hearing in Charleville highlights the fact there is serious concern about the social and economic impact these laws will have on regional communities,” he said.

“The effects of these harsh and unnecessary laws will flow right through the food supply chain, and ultimately a reduced supply of food combined with increased demand from a growing global population will mean higher food prices at the check-out.”

Mr Maudsley said the Palaszczuk Government was keen to assess the “full impacts of proposed military training area expansions on the beef supply chain”* last year but seemingly has no interest in examining the potentially far more damaging impacts of their own laws.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government attacked the Federal Coalition Government at the time claiming they were ‘prepared to wreck lives and damage agricultural industries without bothering with independent expert advice’, yet are now doing exactly the same thing,” he said.

“No economic modelling has been done, and the scientific reports used to justify their flawed laws only examine how much vegetation has been cleared, not how much vegetation has grown. You can’t make good decisions when you are only looking at a small part of the picture.

“The Federal Government backed down on their proposed Defence land grab, so why won’t the Queensland Government rethink their flawed vegetation management laws?

“Let’s get this issue sorted once and for all and develop a long-lasting solution that is good for both agriculture and the environment. Our food is too important to be caught up in politics election after election.”

*Source: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/1/25/palaszczuk-government-fasttracks-independent-study-into-defence-land-grab

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