HALF THE STORY: AgForce general president Grant Maudsley is asking for more research on vegetation management in Queensland.
HALF THE STORY: AgForce general president Grant Maudsley is asking for more research on vegetation management in Queensland. Contributed

AgForce asks for veg management research

AGFORCE is asking for more State Government- funded scientific research on how much vegetation is growing in Queensland versus how much is being cleared.

General president of the Queensland organisation for rural producers, Grant Maudsley, said that farmers needed to manage vegetation on their land to grow food and did not want harsher laws imposed upon them on the basis of incomplete information.

"The Queensland Government has been using satellite imagery for years to measure vegetation clearing rates for the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study but they don't measure how much vegetation in Queensland has grown at the same time," he said.

"Briefing notes released under Right to Information laws reveal ministers were told in 2016 that 'we have accurate information on losses but not accurate information on gains', yet since then little has been done to give scientists the tools they need to look at the full picture on vegetation management.

"In effect, the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study report only tells half the story. You won't get the best environmental and agricultural production outcomes making decisions on flawed data sets.

"Farmers on the ground can point to parts of their properties where trees and shrubs are thicker than ever and are rapidly encroaching on the semi-open woodlands and naturally open grasslands where cattle and sheep graze.

"AgForce has always said we are willing to engage in a science and evidence-based process on this issue."

Mr Maudsley said AgForce had recently released its Healthy Environment, Healthy Agriculture policy and hoped the State Government would come to a solution that favoured all parties involved.

"The Palaszczuk government now has the numbers in Parliament, so this issue will be a test of whether they are willing to put the politics aside, let the science tell the whole story and work with those most affected by these laws," he said.


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