Enviro Bill hearings ‘just a show’: Dametto

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has labelled a Townsville public hearing into Labor’s proposed Environmental Protection Bill as “nothing more than a show”.

A PUBLIC hearing held into a farm-destroying Bill proposed by Labor has been dismissed as “just going through the motions” by Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

Mr Dametto, who was present at the Labor-stacked Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee’s hearing into the Great Barrier Reef’s catchment for the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 in Townsville yesterday afternoon, said witnesses should have been given more time to speak than the 15 to 20 minutes allotted.

“It was painfully clear that government members of the committee were not interested in hearing the full story from our farming bodies over the severe impact this Bill will have on farming in North Queensland,” he said.

“We heard from farmers and industry experts who used facts and figures to present strong, evidence-based arguments. However, I’m concerned that other groups presenting to the hearing with their scare tactics, emotion and sweeping statements will sway the committee to recommend passing this Bill.

“To me, it felt like the hearing was just set up to tick the boxes. People were heard but I doubt if they were really listened to. Labor will once again ram this Bill through parliament like they did with its disgraceful vegetation management laws last year.”

Mr Dametto questioned whether the State Government had any interest in allowing agriculture to continue along the east coast of Queensland.

“If they are intent on banning agriculture, then they should just bite the bullet and buy up all the farms instead of bankrupting our farmers with layer upon layer of unworkable green tape,” he said.

“This legislation has the potential to send most small growers to the wall with its undermining of existing efforts by growers to improve water quality and insane “Big Brother” style supervision over everyday farming decisions.

“I will say it again – this Bill is a complete assault on farming. I can understand the anger felt by our farmers over this legislation, which Katter’s Australian Party will fight against to the very end.”

Nick Dametto MP