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Coolabunia Producers Petition Minister

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Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

January 28, 2016

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has forwarded a petition to Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson from a united group of Coolabunia landholders protesting against their properties potentially being placed in the tick zone.

The Shadow Agriculture Minister said the 32 Coolabunia property owners were alarmed at the prospect after years of working to keep their herds and properties tick-free.

“I congratulate Geoff Black and his neighbours who have taken the initiative to put together this petition,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“It clearly demonstrates that for their particular section of the tick line, these property managers and landholders are united in wanting to remain in a tick-free zone.

“Many families stand to lose years of hard work and potentially tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital value if their properties were re-classified.

“I know of landholders who have already sought legal advice and some are ready to sue the government for damages if they end up in a ticky zone.

“I would encourage other landholder groups along the line to come together and do the same as the Coolabunia group.

“What I’m hearing at the meetings I’ve been attending is that each section of the line has its own specific issues and I believe there is room for the Department to negotiate solutions with producers in certain sections of the line, rather than trying to impose a one size fits all approach.”

Mrs Frecklington urged Mrs Donaldson not to treat any landholder unfairly.

“Every landholder now in the control zone deserves the right to ultimately be included in the (tick) free zone,” she said.

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The Coolabunia petition and map forwarded to State Parliament (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

The wording of the Coolabunia petition:

To:  The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

The petition of residents of the State of Queensland draws to the attention of the House: Petition against tick line movement in Coolabunia

If the tick status is changed from control to infested it will result in a number of negative consequences for all landholders involved.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Some landholders have property adjoining in the free zone and the tick line movement will make the management of cattle a lot more difficult as simply moving cattle between properties will become a time intensive and costly ordeal.
  • Due to chemicals used to control ticks, cattle will not always be saleable as a result of chemical withholding periods.
  • The regular mustering required to treat tick infested cattle causes undue stress to cattle involved affecting their overall welfare and loss of weight gain due to extra handling.
  • In the current cattle market, customers are preferring chemical free meat and having to treat cattle with tick eradicating chemicals will mean that cattle from these properties will not have the option to be sold to these markets.

The landholders in this control zone have spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort to clean up the control zone and maintain it as tick free for the past 16 years. The present control zone is on a mountain which acts as a natural water shed to the current tick line and is buffered by a double fence roadway buffer zone so is therefore easy to keep tick free.

In summary, the costs, time and manual labour required to treat cattle that will potentially move from controlled to infested zones will result in greater hardships for all cattle owners on these properties. This will have an underlying impact on overall profitability and viability of the stated properties.

Your petitioners therefore request the House to leave the control zone in the Coolabunia region as tick free and not move the tick line making the control zone tick infested.

* * *

More than 100 people gathered at the Proston Community Hall on Thursday evening to discuss the State Government's proposed changes to the tick line (Photo: Cr Kathy Duff)

AgForce-organised tick line consultation meetings are still attracting a strong response around the region.

AgForce SEQ  has reported that producers at the Yarraman-Crows Nest Tick Line Meeting held at the Upper Yarraman Hall on Wednesday voted to support Option 3.  This option has the new line mostly following natural borders such as roads.

And a tick line meeting held in Proston on Thursday evening reportedly attracted more than 100 people.

The deadline for tick line submissions is February 29.

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