Labor’s Enviro Bill another attack against farmers
HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto fears cane farmers will suffer from even more bureaucratic green tape if a Bill introduced by Labor in parliament today is eventually passed.
The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MP was furious at Labor’s latest move, with their Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 set to impose even more restrictions on farmers trying to make ends meet.
“This Bill is a complete assault on farming and dismisses the important work our growers have already done to improve Great Barrier Reef water quality and reduce fertiliser and sediment runoff,” he said.
“You’ve got to really wonder what the endgame is here for Labor. Do they want us all to move to the city and completely abandon North Queensland?
“At every turn the industry has complied with tighter and tighter regulations, yet this State Labor Government keeps shifting the goalposts. There is a breaking point and I fear we will reach it with this proposed legislation.”
Among the key concerns highlighted by industry regarding the Bill concerns its undermining of existing efforts by growers to improve water quality, imposing “big brother” style supervision over everyday farming decisions and effectively hobbling the cane industry’s ability to expand.
“I think it’s particularly insulting for this Bill to force growers to be provide an environmental impact statement if they want to crop an existing part of their farm they have cropped in the past. You shouldn’t need some bureaucrat to tell you that’s ok,” Mr Dametto said.
“I’m also extremely concerned about the Bill giving the government power to demand information from any advisor or company working with cane farmers. This is big brother at its worst and will do nothing but erode trust between industry and government.”
Mr Dametto vowed that he and fellow KAP MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth would “oppose this Bill at every turn”.
“Agriculture is one of Queensland’s biggest economic contributors and we should be doing everything we can to support this sector, not hinder it,” he said.
“It’s time Labor realised this and stopped it’s on war on our cane farmers. They deserve better than this.”