Greenies only: Palaszczuk government up to its old tricks

Farmers excluded: Palaszczuk government up to its old green tricks

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AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin said the roundtable meeting on the environment deliberately excluded farmers.

AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin said the roundtable meeting on the environment deliberately excluded farmers.

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Farmers were excluded from a major roundtable meeting on the environment organised by the Palaszczuk government.

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FARMERS say the Palaszczuk government is up to its all tricks, ignoring agriculture while fawning over Brisbane-based conservation groups.

AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin said the December 5 roundtable meeting on the environment had deliberately excluded farmers and other industry groups.

"The whole roundtable sham reveals not just the government's off-handed, patronising and disrespectful attitude towards farmers, but that they somehow regard us as the enemy, rather than an ally, of environmental protection," Mr Guerin said.

"It seems not only fair but sensible to include in any discussion about the environment the group that looks after and knows so much about the landscapes you are trying to protect."

With only 10 months until the next Queensland election the timing and structure of the roundtable meeting clearly has the broadacre farm group worried.

"This is what they do," Mr Guerin said.

"They deliberately exclude agriculture from substantive early conversations, completely ignore sound, science-based input into the design of legislation, and then disingenuously claim that by telling us what has been decided it is meaningful consultation.

They deliberately exclude agriculture from substantive early conversations, completely ignore sound, science-based input into the design of legislation, and then disingenuously claim that by telling us what has been decided it is meaningful consultation. - Michael Guerin, AgForce

"Their condescending and dismissive approach to industry and communities while they allow a bunch of Brisbane-based greenies decide our future with little understanding of landscapes or indeed of the environment is simply unacceptable."

The Palazczuk government had engaged similar tactics when developing the Vegetation Management Act, Trigger Mapping, and most recently, the Reef Protections Bill, he said.

In a media release issued on December 5, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said collaboration was important when it comes to ensuring Queensland's environment was protected.

"This is why it is important to have all groups come together to discuss how we can collaboratively work towards protecting Queensland's unique environment now and into the future."

"We value the incredible work these conservation groups do, to advocate for the environment, volunteer their time in vital projects, and help build awareness and inspire action for a better future."

Mr Guerin said the roundtable meeting demonstrated an astonishing level of arrogance by conservation groups.

"I'm not sure when suburban Brisbane green groups acquired a monopoly on caring for the environment, but they clearly believe they are the only ones with anything to contribute to the debate," Mr Guerin said.

"The most concerning thing is that they seem to have convinced the government of this nonsense, too.

"It goes to show just how deeply in the pockets of these suburban Brisbane green groups the State Government actually is, and just why we had to begin our Stand Up for Regional Queensland campaign.

AgForce has produced a video asking 'who will standup for regional Queensland?'

"For the minister to put out a media release trumpeting strong collaboration - when it was really just a 'yes' meeting of like-minded special interest groups - is a real kick in the guts for industry and communities who care so very deeply and would give anything to be genuinely engaged in these discussions."

Mr Guerin said he had received numerous phone calls and emails from members furious and frustrated that the industry had again been disregarded.

The next Queensland election will be held on October 31.

The story Greenies only: Palaszczuk government up to its old tricks first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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