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AgForce Secures Bligh’s Commitment To Revisit Reef

14 October 2010

AUSTRALIA - State farming organisation AgForce has sent a strong message to the Queensland Government when it challenged Premier Anna Bligh to recognise that land managers must be consulted and engaged in any regulation, which will undermine sustainable food production.

AgForce’s new president Brent Finlay and CEO Robert Walker led a delegation of Burdekin graziers to the meeting with Premier Bligh in Townsville this afternoon, which was triggered by frustration over regulations in reef catchments imposed by the state government this year.

“AgForce took a clear message to the Premier that the process her government has imposed on our industry will not result in the intended outcomes and she recognised the need to reassess the reef regulations with the formation of a working group, incorporating AgForce, LandCare and Burdekin producers,” Mr Finlay said.

Mr Finlay said AgForce secured a commitment from Premier Bligh to revisit the reef regulations at AgForce’s recent state conference where producers challenged her to come out to the affected region and hear their concerns first hand.

“AgForce’s commitment to agriculture extends beyond lobbying – our focus is on shaping the industry for long-term sustainable and progressive agriculture, and central to this is educating the government so they understand the realities of sustainable food production,” Mr Finlay said.

“If it were not for AgForce’s persistence on the reef issue Premier Bligh would not have met with producers and the regulation process would still be steamrolling ahead without recognition of the impact on progressive agriculture.”

The reef regulations have placed an onerous reporting burden on cane and beef producers in the Burdekin, under the guise of limiting nutrient and residue run-off into the reef. It failed to recognise that farmers already have management practices to ensure the long-term health of soil and water.

“It is a needless regulation when engagement and extension are the real solution – producers want avenues for discussion, debate, science and expertise in land management yet instead were handed a bureaucracy-based system underpinned by false assumptions,” Mr Finlay said.

“AgForce urges the Queensland Government to focus on real, achievable long-term outcomes rather than imposing ineffective and onerous documentation on farmers.”

TheCattleSite News Desk


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