Land clearing decision another nail in landholders' coffins

Published: Comments:
Community Environment

Social:   

A decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal that will potentially expose landholders in the south-east to fines of more than half a million dollars for managing their vegetation is “governance gone mad”, according to AgForce CEO Michael Guerin.

Land earmarked 'Category X' is exempt under State Government vegetation management legislation, but certain councils require landholders to secure their approval before they clear trees, even if just removing a few trees for fence posts.

Mr Guerin said any assertion that the local requirement was in place to protect wildlife was false, adding that this was a grab for cash and a powerplay by local councils who wanted to control areas of land they considered to be ineffectively controlled by the State.

“What we have here is a gross contradiction between areas of land the State Government says are exempt under Queensland's Vegetation Management Act (VMA), but now could end up costing some landholders their livelihood.

“Fines of up to $600,000 are beyond most of us.

“Imagine removing trees growing in your own back yard because they are damaging your pipes or foundations, and then being told years later that you weren’t allowed to do it, and worse, that you now have to pay a massive fine – a fine that might be worth more than the value of the land itself.

“The expectation of most homeowners is that if you own the land – if the Government has said that the land is yours to do with as you please – you won’t be penalised for planting a few trees and then deciding later you want or need to remove them.”

Mr Guerin said that farmers weren’t “mass clearing land in football field sized blocks”, as is often misreported in the media, but rather managing thickening vegetation on their properties to restore the land.

“The first people of this great country of ours – Indigenous Australians – have been managing the land for more than 60,000 years, maintaining a balance between trees and grass with more open landscapes,” Mr Guerin said.

“Management of the land and control of regrowth is what the vegetation needs to be healthy and regenerate. Locking up land and preventing active management causes vegetation to thicken rapidly, often choking healthy ecosystems.

“Thinning ‘feral landscapes’ allows for effective weed control, minimises the risk of pest animals, and reduces overgrown vegetation that can become a severe fire risk.

“Councils that impose these requirements offer no compensation for landholders who want to effectively manage their land – they simply strip away any rights they have.

“What this decision by the Court of Appeal does is further stifle landholders and the land they’re trying to manage with more over governance.”
 

 
AgForce Queensland :
Level 2, 110 Mary Street, Brisbane Qld 4000, Queensland Wide
07 3236 3100
AgForce Queensland
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
State must involve producers in trigger map review or risk a further debacle 25 June 2019 | A campaign led by AgForce and its members to expose the shortcomings of the new protected flora trigger mapping has led to the State Government reviewing the dangerously inaccurate data. More information...
Queensland agribusinesses devastated by arbitrary mapping decision 18 June 2019 | A seemingly arbitrary change by the State Government to the way it maps protected plants will have a devastating effect on many producers, making it more onerous and expensive to manage and graze their land and... More information...
State Government’s ‘JAWS’ budget should make producers ‘very afraid’ 12 June 2019 | The State Budget has provided yet another example that the Queensland Government doesn’t understand agriculture and has no clear vision for its future. More information...
The best thing consumers can do is eat sustainable Aussie beef 06 June 2019 | A report card released today by the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) into the sustainability of the Australian beef industry highlights the major milestones being delivered by producers and demonstrates that... More information...
AgForce welcomes science-based underground water report 29 May 2019 | AgForce has welcomed updated scientific information about the effects of coal seam gas (CSG) production on underground water in the Surat Cumulative Management Area (CMA) as an important tool in helping protect... More information...
Land clearing decision another nail in landholders' coffins 29 May 2019 | A decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal that will potentially expose landholders in the south-east to fines of more than half a million dollars for managing their vegetation is “governance gone mad”... More information...
Agriculture pleased to continue fruitful collaboration with Federal Coalition 19 May 2019 | AgForce congratulates the Coalition Government on its re-election and looks forward to its continued support for Australian agriculture as the sector strives to become an environmentally sustainable, $100 billion... More information...
Better internet could add $20 billion to value of primary production 15 May 2019 | Improving internet and phone services in rural and remote areas would produce a thousand-fold return on investment, with latest research showing that better connectivity could increase national agricultural... More information...
Proposed crackdown on animal extremists music to farmers' ears 01 May 2019 | The State Opposition’s proposed introduction of a Private Members Bill for harsher penalties for animal extremists has been welcomed by AgForce CEO Michael Guerin. More information...
AgForce moves to protect Reef, the environment, and members’ data 02 May 2019 | AgForce has moved quickly to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the Queensland environment and the integrity of members’ data, following the introduction into Parliament of the Reef Protections Bill*. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service