Tuesday 23 July 2019
AgForce will conduct a series of practical, interactive sessions across south east Queensland to explain recent changes to protected plant trigger mapping and their implications for local producers, as well as providing a snapshot of the State Government’s proposed Reef regulations.
Kicking off in Durong on Friday, the sessions will include discussion on the impacts of changes to mapping, explain how Government blue dot areas were derived, assist producers with the process required for identifying protected plants, and provide advice about the importance of regularly checking for map updates, as well as the potential impact of Reef regulations on grazing and new cropping areas in the Burnett Mary catchments.
Speakers include a range of AgForce experts including GIS Technical Manager Noel Brinsmead and Policy Officer Marie Vitelli, who specialises in biosecurity, weed identification, and pasture dieback.
AgForce General President Georgie Somerset, a South Burnett cattle producer, said changes thrust upon primary producers in Queensland in recent weeks made AgForce’s Shed Full of Knowledge an essential update.
“Through our lobbying, we’ve already secured a commitment by the Minister for Environment, Great Barrier Reef, Science and Arts to fully brief AgForce prior to any future mapping releases and give us a chance to digest the information and inform our members in good time,” Mrs Somerset said.
“Lobbying Government is one thing – it’s also important we get out there, amongst the producers directly affected by these changes, explain the ramifications, answer their questions, make sure they understand we’re with them.
“These sessions provide a chance for producers to speak to a real person and hear, for example, about the mapping services AgForce offers and how they can help them.
“The Government’s proposed Reef Bill hasn’t passed through Parliament yet either, so there is still time for us to have our voices heard on that issue too. AgForce does not support mandatory Reef standards for grazing and cropping.
Mrs Somerset added that AgForce wasn’t going anywhere.
“While Government continues to impose unfair restrictions and regulations on hard working farming families, AgForce will be there, doing everything we possibly can to ensure less red tape and that greater amounts of transparent information is provided for our members.”
After Durong on Friday, the ‘The Shed’ moves on to Monto and Gayndah on Saturday, Toogoolawah and Boonah on Monday, and Woolooga on Tuesday. All producers are welcome to attend the sessions, which will also include Commodity and SEQ Regional updates.