Announcement to help farmers make sense of Act
THE LNP will invest $150,000 into a national program to make sure farmers and landholders understand the EPBC Act.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud visited Calliope and Biloela yesterday and said the interaction between farmers and the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act remained a recurring concern coming through his department during the past 12 months.
Last year the Federal Government announced an independent review into the interaction between agriculture and the Act.
The Minister said farmers often struggled to make sense of the Act.
"Farmers care about the environment,” he said.
"There are many rules and regulations around environment from different levels of government - this will clarify farmers' responsibilities.”
Mr Littleproud said the National Farmers Federation would send out an information package to farmers to help them understand.
"NFF will also consult with farmers and help them prepare to contribute to the EPBC Act review,” he said.
"The Act is due to be reviewed again this year and it's important farmers and landholders are well placed to have their say.”
AgForce Queensland board member and Calliope Station owner Will Wilson said landholders were the best managers of their land and hit out at current Queensland vegetation management legislation.
"I'd like to think we are best managers of the day but best management continuously changes,” Mr Wilson said.
"If we are going to change the best management of the land we farm on, we really need to stay owners of the asset.
"For some reason in agriculture we expect farmers to be best managers of their properties but then we want to regulate and take ownership away from them.
"I think enough is enough and we need to start building trust and move forward to manage what we've got to the betterment of the environment and the betterment of our production systems.”
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd said landholders were some of the best environmental managers in the country.