AUSTRALIA - The Queensland Government must focus on developing a practical, workable and well-funded management framework for the state’s 2.6 million-hectare stock route network rather than pushing ahead with flawed laws, AgForce said.
The call comes after a bi-partisan Parliamentary committee unanimously recommended proposed stock route laws not be passed until a State Management Plan and regulations were consulted on and developed, including a regulatory impact statement.
AgForce Cattle Board Director Peter Hall welcomed the committee’s report and urged the Government to redouble its efforts to develop a better framework that ensures stock routes are managed properly now and into the future.
“The stock route network has been plagued for decades by issues such as overgrazing by producers, unmanaged weed infestations and an inadequate fee structure that meant infrastructure such as watering points were not maintained or renewed,” he said.
“AgForce supports councils having responsibility for managing the stock route network and we support all funds raised being delivered back to local government for investment in the network.
“However, as the committee found during their hearings about the proposed laws, there was concern about how this handover of responsibilities would happen and whether the stock route network would be adequately funded.
“AgForce also consistently maintained we could not support the laws until seeing a copy of the associated regulations and the stock route management plan.
“Let me make it clear - we don’t want to shut the door on stock route reform, it’s long overdue. The committee process has outlined the many reasons why we need to maintain the stock route network for travelling stock during a drought or a short-term supply of feed in good times.
“Efforts to reform the stock route network must not stall now. AgForce stands ready, willing and able to work co-operatively with all the stakeholders from all levels of Government and all political parties to ensure we have a well-maintained stock route network that can be called upon in decades to come.”
A copy of the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee’s report is available here.
TheCattleSite News Desk