Queensland farmers want to be able to sustainably manage their land to produce more food and grow their businesses, and won't accept Labor's dodgy deal on vegetation laws, AgForce said today.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said Labor's flawed land management laws had already rightly been rejected by the Queensland Parliament and would mean fewer regional job and development opportunities in areas crying out for more jobs.
"Farmers have only ever asked for balanced and sensible vegetation management laws so we can provide food for family dinner tables across Australia and throughout the world," he said.
"Farming families care about their land and know how to manage it responsibly. Farming is a difficult enough job as it is, we don't need politicians adding to the difficulties we face.
"Today's announcement shows Labor is more interested in green politics than good policy. AgForce will continue to oppose such poor and one-sided policy."
Mr Maudsley said Labor's policy would cause enormous damage in regional and rural communities, leading to fewer local job opportunities and accelerating population drift to the cities.
"Locking up farmers' land will mean a significant loss of income and that means less money circulating throughout towns in the bush," he said.
"These harsh and unnecessary laws would have an immediate impact on regional and rural communities, while any proposed alternative revenue streams from a carbon fund may take years to eventuate and would likely only partly offset producers' losses.
"If you are a primary producer in north Queensland, where there is so much potential for sustainable agricultural development, you want to be able to grow your business and develop your land, not lock it up for carbon."
Mr Maudsley said Labor were doubling down on the flawed reasoning behind their policy by proposing an annual release and national expansion of the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study, which only tells half the story.
"How can we properly look at carbon farming options when the Queensland Government doesn't even know or want to know how much vegetation is regrowing year on year?" he said.
Mr Maudsley said AgForce had proposed a common sense plan to drive sustainable agricultural production and deliver good environmental outcomes for Queensland without strangling farmers in red tape.
"Queensland is now the most valuable agricultural state in the country, but we need politicians to help take agriculture forward, not hold us back," he said.
"Global demand for Queensland's high quality food and fibre is soaring, but we won't achieve our full potential without balanced policies that support a healthy agricultural sector and a healthy environment."
A copy of AgForce's 'Healthy Environment, Healthy Agriculture' policy proposal and full State Election platform is available at www.agforceqld.org.au