The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) and industry members are frustrated and disappointed after the state government rejected an opportunity to reconsider the regulatory burden that Reef regulations place on farmers.
An LNP motion to disallow the commencement of these regulations was recently defeated by the Queensland Government creating greater uncertainty for farmer’s productivity and profitability as they work to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said COVID-19 and recent tariffs from China had far-reaching effects on Queensland’s farmers through the loss of markets and the rising cost of inputs, however with decreased red tape their economic recovery was not insurmountable.
“Reef regulations place yet another layer of administrative responsibility onto farmers and will stifle much needed flexibility and sustainable growth in several established agricultural industries and communities across the Reef catchments during this unprecedented time,” Dr Davis said.
“The Reef is one of the most spectacular and complex natural systems on earth. Couple that with complex farming systems and the changing climate, we need collaborative partnerships that deliver a sophisticated and properly resourced response if we want to continue to improve the quality of water entering the Reef lagoon as well as continuing to achieve other environmental outcomes.”
“Agriculture has been and remains committed to doing its bit for the Reef with an exponential increase of farmer participation in Best Management Practice and other voluntary practice improvement programs.”
“These programs have made and continue to make improvements to a range of environmental objectives, and have significantly contributed to the health of the Reef despite the water quality targets being grossly underfunded.”
“We remain firmly of the view that applying a blanket approach to regulating agricultural activities across all six Reef regions at the expense of true practice change will not realise the best environmental, social and economic outcomes for the Reef, farmers or Reef catchment communities.”