North Queensland farmers now will have to apply to a government-appointed rehabilitation commissioner to plough their paddocks or risk a heavy fine.
The Queensland Labor Party with support from the Liberal National Party enacted legislation on August 14 in State Parliament to appoint a mining rehabilitation commissioner including new requirements for farmers in the six Great Barrier Reef catchment areas.
In typical communist style farmers wishing to plough their paddocks will be subject to the whim of a commissioner. who does not need to have any formal qualifications under the new legislation.
Leader of Katters Australian Party Robbie Katter who opposed the laws, said the LNP, but in particular the Member for Burdekin, Dale Last, a former senior police officer, had again betrayed farmers.
“Mr Last has been very vocal in his attacks on Labor in the past but this week proved his loyalties lie only with his party and not the people,” Mr Katter said.
“He should have shown the convictions of Colin Boyce, LNP Member for Callide, who crossed the floor and voted against his own party’s support for a new mining rehabilitation commissioner.
“Farming used to be an essential service by providing clean and green food and fibre for Australians, but the LNP has thrown the baby out with the bathwater and the population could starve for all they care.
“The consequences of this could be dire and could hold up development for years.”
KAP Member for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto said Mr Boyce’s courageous move in the House this week was significant.
“I believe Mr Boyce’s move has signalled that LNP policy no longer truly represents the values of the bush and this is why he crossed the floor,” he said.
“By voting for that legislation, the LNP and Labor have endorsed the appointing of a commissioner who will dictate not only how mining businesses operate but will also enforce last year’s amendments to the Environmental Protection Act that introduced draconian regulations on farmers in the six reef catchment areas.
“There wasn’t even a skillset specified for this person, who might very well come from a green lobby group. The LNP and Labor seem content with creating a legislative hitman answerable only to the Environment Minister and no-one else.
“They will have immense power to work against mining and agriculture in Queensland.
“The LNP continually says they back farmers and here they are voting with Labor. This was a perfect
opportunity to do the right thing and vote against Labor’s legislation that will only hurt farmers,”
“It took the crossbench to call for a division in parliament to trigger one of the LNP’s own members
to cross the floor in a strong show of support for the agricultural sector.
“Backing Queensland agriculture isn’t about creating a bunch of one-liners and wearing a green
shirt at a rally. You actually need to back words with actions.
“The KAP talks the talk and walks the walk. We have drafted a bill to repeal Labor’s destructive reef
legislation and to date the LNP have refused to say whether they will support it.”