MEMBER for Gympie David Gibson yesterday welcomed a package of reforms unveiled by the State Government touted as the most significant to affect agricultural production in 20 years.
Mr Gibson said the overhaul of the vegetation management rules in Queensland would boost food production, and deliver jobs and economic benefits for the rural sector and regional communities like Gympie.
"The amendments proposed in the Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill 2013, which was introduced in Parliament today, will allow sustainable vegetation management activities to occur to support the development of high-value agriculture in areas with appropriate land and climate characteristics," he said.
"The Newman Government has made it clear that it plans to double the value of agricultural production in Queensland by 2040, and these reforms are a vital component to achieving that goal."
Mr Gibson said the amendments would restore a long-overdue balance to Queensland's vegetation management framework, while retaining key environmental protections.
"The introduction of self-assessable codes for routine vegetation management activities, such as weed and pest management, fodder harvesting and thinning, will save landholders time and money, while still requiring them to abide by a code stipulating sustainable land management practices," he said.
Key reforms proposed include:
- The introduction of new clearing purposes under the Act for high-value agriculture and environmental works (such as land rehabilitation);
- The removal of regrowth regulations on freehold and indigenous land, but the retention of controls on regrowth control on leasehold land and in reef watercourses;
- New provisions to allow for the creation of self-assessable codes for routine management activities such as weed and pest management, fodder harvesting and thinning;
- The creation of simplified state-wide vegetation maps to clearly define areas where regulations will apply.