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What's On In The South Burnett Today?

Tree Law Amendments
‘Devastating For Farmers’

Filed under Breaking News, Deb's Diary, Latest News

An aerial view across some of the South Burnett's farmlands ... new vegetation management laws could have a devastating effect on our region's primary producers

April 14, 2016

On Thursday March 17, the Labor Government brought their Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 before the Parliament.

I want to assure you that as the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and your local member, I will be fighting against these new laws the whole way.

The LNP will stand with Queensland landholders and help have their voices heard.

Labor attempted to reduce the consultation process for this complex legislation to just 17 days.

But thankfully, a motion the LNP Opposition put before the House to have this extended until June was successful.

So farmers now have the time to get their heads around what this legislation is going to mean for them, then have the opportunity to have their say.

By the Government’s own admission, limited consultation was undertaken in the development of the Bill.

Unfortunately our Agriculture Minister, Leanne Donaldson, also proved she has zero credibility on vegetation management and no understanding of how the proposed amendments will damage agriculture.

It is difficult to understand how an Agriculture Minister can vote in favour of these amendments, which are a full-frontal assault on individual property rights.

They will hamstring farmers and landholders from managing and developing their properties.

They will also stifle rural investment, and lower a dark cloud over property values and equities in many areas of rural and regional Queensland.

Here is a brief overview of the key amendments made by this Bill:

  • Repealing the High Value Agriculture and Irrigated High Value Agriculture pathway from the legislation, bringing sustainable agricultural expansion to a halt
  • Re-introducing Reverse Onus-of-Proof, which means farmers are considered guilty until proven innocent for alleged offences involving vegetation management activities
  • No compensation for landholders
  • Including High Value Regrowth as an additional layer of regulation, stripping landholders of their rights to manage regrowth on their properties
  • Extending Category R vegetation restrictions adjacent to watercourses to include the Burnett Mary, Eastern Cape York and Fitzroy, impacting thousands of new landholders for the first time.

I would encourage anyone affected by these changes to lodge a submission with the Parliament. The closing date for submissions is April 25.

You can make an online submission by clicking here

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LNP Sets Agenda To Protect Queensland’s Children

During the March parliamentary sitting, the LNP introduced a Bill called “Mason’s Law”, which aims to expand mandatory reporting of harm to children to the Early Childhood Education and care sector.

This was the result of a long-running and dedicated campaign by John and Sue Sandeman, the grandparents of toddler Mason Parker, who was tragically murdered in 2011.

The couple who have been calling for these laws ever since.

I admire the Sandeman’s determination to create change and potentially help save the lives of other children who may find themselves in similar circumstances.

The LNP will be urging the State Government to support this important change to our child protection framework.

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New South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff was presented with a bouquet by Mayor Keith Campbell after her election (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

Welcome To Our New Council Team

While the wait for Council declarations was extraordinarily long, it is great to finally have our new Council team in place and eager to start representing the needs of their region.

I would like to congratulate South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and Deputy Mayor, Kathy Duff.

I’ve taken the opportunity to meet with the South Burnett’s new team and look forward to working with them in our efforts to achieve growth and opportunity for our region.

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With Members of the LNP Opposition receiving our certificates for supporting the Pozieres memorial site (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

Remembering Pozieres

In the lead up to Anzac Day, it was a pleasure to recently meet Mr Barry Gracey, President of the Pozieres Remembers Association.

Mr Gracey is fundraising to establish a memorial at the site of the World War I Battle of Pozieres where 7000 men lost their lives.

Of those killed, 4112 were never found or identified.

The memorial garden will protect their resting place for all time.

I was very honoured to support his fundraising efforts.

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Enjoying the morning at the Nanango Health and Wellbeing Expo with some of the organisers (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

Nanango Health And Wellbeing Expo

A big “thank you!” to the organisers of the Nanango Health and Wellbeing Expo held in late March in Pioneer Park.

There was a lot of hard work that went into organising the inaugural event, which attracted about 130 stalls.

I was really pleased to attend and check out all the wonderful things on offer.

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables