CQLX 2018
CQLX 2018 Jessica Powell

CQ grazier's heartache, confusion over vegetation laws

NOT SURE what the future may hold, grazier Steven Ensby said the rural community was in a state of confusion after the passing of the Vegetation Laws Thursday night.

Owning a 160 acre property in Dululu, Steven said it's a tough situation, with many landowners not knowing what to do.

"Out in the bush, a hand shake is meant to be everything," he said.

"I just think the rural people don't know who to trust now."

With his family's livelihood dependent on the land, Steven said the law passing will have flow-on effects throughout the state.

AROUND 500 impassioned farmers gathered this morning at Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX) to rally against the proposed new vegetation management laws.
AROUND 500 impassioned farmers gathered this morning at Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX) to rally against the proposed new vegetation management laws. Jessica Powell

"We sell bulls, so our major concern is if the overall market starts shrinking, the demand for bulls will start shrinking too," he said.

"Ironically, I believe the biggest effects will be seen in town.

"Queensland employs something like 8000 to 10,000 meat workers.

"It will affect our meat workers, agents and anybody who works within that industry.

"If what they predict happens, they are the ones that are going to feel it the most."

Believing their voices have fallen on deaf ears, Steven said unfortunately money and not science was a driving force behind the law passing.

PROTEST: Farmers from across the state have gathered outside Parliament House this morning to fight for their futures.
PROTEST: Farmers from across the state have gathered outside Parliament House this morning to fight for their futures. Stephen Bennett

"Think more long term rather than short term gains. At the moment, it appears to be very much about today, not tomorrow," he said.

"Take on board a bit more of the science. Anyone who has had any sort of land will understand you need a mixture of grass and trees, but if you go solely for bush and trees then there can be a lot of erosion.

"You need that grass to hold the top soil in.

"A blanket rule doesn't work with something like this.

Comparing the vegetation management laws to The Spit master plan on the Gold Coast, Steven said it goes to show the regional verses metropolitan mind frame.

"There were several thousand submissions rallying against this law, compared to The Spit on the Gold Coast," he said.

READ HERE: 500 CQ farmers rally against the land law

Queensland Opposition leader Deb Frecklington is seen during a farmers protest outside Parliament House in Brisbane, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. The protesters voiced their opposition to the Queensland government's vegetation management laws. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Queensland Opposition leader Deb Frecklington is seen during a farmers protest outside Parliament House in Brisbane, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. The protesters voiced their opposition to the Queensland government's vegetation management laws. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING DAN PELED

"And that's a priority for the government, even though it only got half the submissions.

"This just doesn't make sense.

"Something that has double the submissions, double the concern, it's just pushed to the side as insignificant, its quite unfair."

READ HERE: CQ 21 year old fires up over the land laws

READ HERE: Jambin farmer tells of devastating truth if laws are passed

Passed in their current form, the vegetation laws will reinstate vegetation management controls scrapped by the LNP in 2013, which sparked a surge in tree clearing over the following years, according to a report released last year.

Among the most significant reforms is a change to the definition of high-value regrowth, making it apply to vegetation not cleared in the last 15 years rather than since December 31, 1989.

Queensland farmers will be restricted to how they use their land, with 1.7 million hectares of developed farming land to be locked up.



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