Palaszczuk launches 'sham' Lake Eyre consultation

Christmas Grinch: Palaszczuk launches 'sham' Lake Eyre consultation

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AgForce says it will hold the Palaszczuk Government to account on its sham Lake Eyre consultation.

AgForce says it will hold the Palaszczuk Government to account on its sham Lake Eyre consultation.

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AgForce says it will hold the Palaszczuk Government to account on its sham Lake Eyre consultation.

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FARMERS say the Palaszczuk government has again developed environmental legislation with greens activist groups without meaningfully including other stakeholders.

The claims follow Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch's announcement immediately prior to Christmas that it was delivering on a 2017 election commitment increase protections for streams and floodplains in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin.

Ms Enoch said it is essential to achieve a "thriving" balance between the long-term health of the rivers and floodplains, and the cultural, social and economic priorities of the region.

"The proposed framework will increase protections for streams and floodplains in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin, since those protections were removed by the former LNP Government," Ms Enoch said.

However, AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin said the Lake Eyre Basin legislation could lock up huge tracts of inland Queensland from agricultural or resource developments, which may have a huge impact on the very survival of farm businesses and towns in the region.

It is worse than infuriating, it is absolutely gutting for primary producers ... to realise we are nothing but second-class citizens." - Mike Guerin, AgForce

"They've just dropped this information on the government website on the Friday before Christmas and hoped that no-one would notice," Mr Guerin said.

"They have deliberately made the submission time so short and over the Christmas holiday period, to ensure few or no submissions are received. It is hard to overstate how dodgy the process is.

"That's the way this government does things when it comes to environmental legislation - it is policy by stealth."

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Mr Guerin said the tactics were on par for the course for the Palaszczuk government.

"Any 'consultation' is a token effort so they can claim they have collaborated with a range of stakeholders but is in reality a very one-sided consultation with the government telling stakeholders what they and the green groups have already decided," Mr Guerin said.

"This is the same thing that happened with the Vegetation Management Act, the Protected Species ('Trigger') Mapping, the disastrous Reef Protections Bill and, most recently, the SEQ Koala Protection."

Mr Guerin said farmers were second-class citizens in the mind of the Palaszczuk government.

"It is worse than infuriating, it is absolutely gutting for primary producers who are doing it so tough after years of drought, not to mention floods and fires, to realise we are nothing but second-class citizens."

While the views of farmers may have been ignored, Ms Enoch said the cultural significant of the basin would be recognised.

"We are going to work in partnership with First Nations peoples and support their establishment of the Lake Eyre Basin Traditional Owner Alliance, which will have an active role in the decision-making and management of the area," Ms Enoch said.

Environmental issues are only likely to intensify in 2020, with the Queensland election scheduled to be held on October 31.

The story Palaszczuk launches 'sham' Lake Eyre consultation first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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