Fires prompt vegetation land management inquiry
THE fires in Queensland have provided the catalyst to impel a Federal Inquiry into vegetation laws and cool burns into a reality.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said a House of Representatives inquiry into the impact of vegetation and land management policies on the agricultural sector would begin this month.
Mr Littleproud first flagged an inquiry in August and has been pushing for one in the months since.
"Qld Labor had the chance to look at this properly but they've squibbed it,” he said. "So we'll do it.
"We need to have a real look at the impact of the Queensland Labor Government's native practices.
"The idea a farmer is too scared to make a proper firebreak is a joke; we need an easy process so this can be done to protect us from fires.”
Mr Littleproud said the absence of proper firebreaks on both public and private land was "just dumb”.
"Has lack of cool burning on state-owned land contributed to fires?” he said.
"Has the Qld Government done enough to make sure fires don't spread from National Parks onto farms?
"Have Queensland's vegetation management laws left more fuel load on farms?”
"I've often wondered whether indigenous land practices could be incorporated into our modern land management now.”
Mr Littleproud said if Queensland's laws were locking up agriculture's potential and making fires worse, we needed to know about it.
"I'll be inviting Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to appear and give evidence at the Inquiry as she was clearly the architect of them.”
AgForce general president Georgie Somerset welcomed a Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into vegetation management.
"We believe a Parliamentary Inquiry will offer a sufficiently robust and objective investigation that will enable sensible changes to vegetation management laws and processes and hopefully prevent these sorts of tragedies in the future,” she said.
The inquiry is expected to report back by April.