State KAP leader and member for Traeger, Robbie Katter is calling for regional Queensland Labor MPs to stand up for their electorates and cross the floor to vote against their party on the vegetation management laws to be voted on next month in Parliament.
The State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Development Committee yesterday recommended the Labor government’s proposed new laws be passed.
A chorus of stakeholders have criticised the bill on the grounds that it removes fundamental rights of landholders and severely impacts the regional Queensland economy.
“These new laws will decimate graziers in north Queensland and there will be huge consequences for regional economies,’’ Mr Katter said.
“I don’t understand how a committee can, in all good conscience dismiss the thousands of protesters who attended the public meetings and the opinions of industry, the legal fraternity and First Australians who have all spoken out against these new laws.
“There are 11 Labor MPs who represent regional seats and their communities and economies rely heavily on agriculture.
“They should be extremely concerned come the next election because regional Queensland will not forget what the Labor Party has done.
“The 11 regional Labor MPs have an opportunity to show that they will put the interests of their constituents before the interests of their party.”
Four Labor MPs need to cross the floor to vote down the laws.
Mr Katter asked what the point was in consulting stakeholders and the public if their opinions were just going to be ignored.
“It is no coincidence that this bill has had such a ferocious backlash,’’ he said. “It’s a nail in the coffin for the people who work the land and put food on the table of all Queenslanders. They understand, better than anyone else, the impact it will have on their production.
Calls from the Local Government Association of Queensland and the Queensland Farmers Federation for a Regulatory Impact Statement were dismissed, AgForce Queensland has demanded further consultation, and the Queensland Law Society has said the retrospectivity provisions breach fundamental legislative principles.
“The Cape York Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation both said the new unfair laws will perpetuate Aboriginal and social economic disadvantage across Cape York,” Mr Katter continued.
“This Labor-dominated committee dismissed every concern from every group affected by the new laws.
“So just who is the government trying to please?
“It’s not the workers on the land, it’s not the people with jobs in the industry, it’s not the towns where the workers live, it’s not our regional indigenous communities it’s not even our law makers.
“This Labor government has reached a new low by ignoring community consultation just to appease irrational green ideologies.
“This government has now shown what they’re capable of and I think all Queenslanders should be terrified of what may come next.
“North Queenslanders drove thousands kilometres, swam rivers and spent hours on planes to fight these new law and it was all for nothing because, as the committee report itself states: “stakeholders have not been specifically consulted on the bill.’’