June 26, 2019
AgForce has called for producer involvement in a review of the State Government’s new “blue dot” vegetation maps.
The Department of Environment and Science, which oversees the mapping data, has announced it will review the trigger maps released last week and correct inaccuracies.
AgForce has described the maps as a “debacle”, claiming they included airport runways, open cut mines, entire towns and part of Suncorp Stadium.
On Tuesday, CEO Michael Guerin welcomed the review but asked the State Government to involve peak farming organisations this time.
“We are relieved that the government has heeded community concerns and shown the courage and common sense to review the map, as the consequences would have been disastrous for our industry,” Mr Guerin said.
“I hear in media reports that they expect to reduce the amount of protected land by around 35 per cent – a suspiciously specific figure – so I hope it is a genuine review and not just a public relations exercise to try and save some face.
“I am amazed they didn’t conduct a thorough review BEFORE they released the maps to ensure their accuracy, because it has caused a great deal of anxiety and resentment among AgForce members.
“The trigger maps are at best a wild guess.
“It looks like they stood back and threw a tin of blue paint at a map of Queensland, knowing that if they covered most of the State, they would be sure to protect some target species.
“The truth is, they don’t have a clue what protected plants, if any, exist within a particular protected area.
“That’s why they need to engage with producers, those who own and are familiar with the land, and their peak bodies in their review.
“We respect and endorse the government’s objective to save the natural environment, but all these maps would have done was sacrifice an industry for no benefit.”