Labor locks up the North with new laws

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has raised several concerns about the Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 which was passed into law on Wednesday.

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has pummelled Labor for once again ramming through legislation that will put even more restrictions on landholders in North Queensland.

The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP is seething after the State Government used its numbers to pass the Nature Conservation (Special Wildlife Reserves) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 on Wednesday.

The legislation creates a new category of protected area – Special Wildlife Reserves – for privately-owned or managed land, to protect land of “outstanding conservation value”.

In a speech given to parliament during debate on the Bill, Mr Dametto said landholders were being strangled by increasing overregulation.

“The biggest problem with this legislation is that it locks up land that would have been productive to landowners. Those people have purchased this land and, all of a sudden, what they can do with it is
going to change,” he said.

“We are at a time where, if people are involved in agriculture, or if they are graziers, or if they are out there trying to earn a dollar off the land, it is very hard for them.

“Every day we see more and more legislation introduced into this House that is going to make it very hard for farmers who are trying to turn a dollar in this state. This is another piece of legislation that will do that.”

Mr Dametto said the new legislation would make it difficult for farmers who “may want to pass on this property to their sons or daughters or even potentially sell it to someone one day”.

“Once this legislation is enacted, these special wildlife reserves are going to be very hard to revoke,” he said.

“Another concern about these special wildlife reserves is how they are going to be managed. Where is the money going to come from for that? There has not been a lot of clarity on that, which worries some landholders and some of my constituents.

“Other concerns we have with the bill relate to the amount of power that will be given to the minister to make decisions on what happens with this land.”

Transhipping will also be impacted by the new laws, with KAP State leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter highlighting areas of the Gulf that will be stifled.

“Transhipping in these areas will not impact the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Dametto said.

“It is of grave concern that these areas will be affected and will not be able to utilise their resources and ship goods in and out effectively.”

With the passing of Labor’s destructive vegetation management legislation last year and their farm-hindering Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 currently before parliament, Mr Dametto said the government was intent on “destroying agriculture in Queensland”.

“This latest legislation is simply a blatant land grab by Labor under the excuse of so-called environmental protection,” he said.

“North Queensland deserves better from this government.”

Nick Dametto MP