VEGETATION officers have been deployed to regional Queensland to allay the fears of landholders concerned about the new vegetation management laws.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the government was working hard to ensure farmers could get on with their day-to-day business and still meet their obligations under the new laws.
Dr Lynham said every region of Queensland had local vegetation officers on staff who hit the roads and talk to landholders about how the laws relate to their specific situation.
It comes after Prairie earthmoving business owner Scott Murray said their work had “skidded to a halt” in the last couple of months.
He said his work had declined by 60-70 per cent and placed the blame squarely on the introduction of the controversial new laws.
But Dr Lynham said landholders had nothing to fear.
“Good farmers can still be good farmers,” Dr Lynham said.
“Landholders can still maintain their land.
They can still clear fodder trees to feed their stock, for firebreaks and along fence lines.
“We are meeting our election commitment to retain the accepted development codes that allow landholders to maintain their land.”
The new laws have been met with hostility by many in the agricultural sector, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk heckled by protesters as she arrived at Beef 2018 in Rockhampton in May.
Despite protests around the state, the government has stood firm on their plan to forge ahead with the laws.
Dr Lynham said any landholder who remained unsure about how the vegetation management laws applied to their property could call 135 VEG.
“The ‘Veg Hub’ call centre staff have been working from Charleville since December last year, providing phone advice to up to 180 landholders each week,” he said.
“In the rare occasions that unlawful clearing happens, departmental officers focus first on early intervention and providing advice to landholders about what is possible on that property.
“I’d encourage any small business operator to visit the Queensland Government’s small business website to see what assistance may be available to grow their business.”