10th December 2012
The newly elected Queensland Government is more receptive to our concerns about the Vegetation Management Act and the prosecution of it and other environmental legislation than the previous government. There have been quite a few press releases on the subject but not much detail. We will need to keep abreast of developments over the next couple of years.
The VMA was the reason for our formation but Property Rights are being attacked still from many angles not least of all in some states as a result of UN treaties. In NSW Local Environmental Plans (LEP) are being used to rezone rural and semi-rural land as environmental which means that the environment takes precedence. There is a right to continue existing use but at least one low lying farm has had a significant portion of its land flooded for 15 months and the government is allowing more land, which is usually protected by a weir, to flood. This does not allow for continuance of existing use. In these cases compensation is either not offered or is at a sterilised value. Much the same sort of thing is happening in WA.
Resource companies are also running roughshod over farmers and we can only urge our members to not sign anything without recourse to a specialist solicitor. There are several working in the field. Any reasonable expense should be paid for by the resource company.
At every opportunity we are trying to make government and the public aware of our concerns for the underground water supply and have made a submission on the topic. The new government really is like a new broom and we have responded to quite a few discussion papers. I have lost count of how many submissions we have done but we have been active.
We were invited to appear before the committee looking at the future of land tenure in Queensland and did so. The interim report of this committee was released 30/11/12 and is available at
The final report is due in March 2013. The report has 29 recommendations with many of them trying to simplify and secure the lease process. One recommendation is that those who have renewed under Delbessie and are unhappy with the result may have a review. But they are as yet only recommendations. Many of the requests made by rural industry bodies have been recommended. If you have any concerns with the recommendations please email the PRA office.
WWF are still active in the background and their new take is that they can assist the beef industry to increase productivity through their Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
Regular readers of the Country Life will know that Senator Ron Boswell has made several well researched speeches to the Senate on the certification schemes operated by WWF.
The respected and usually well researched Kondinin Group wrote an article on their web site whose title was disrespectful to the Senator and allowed WWF’s Rob Cairns to put their point of view which was a bit reminiscent of The Artful Dodger. Only QCL readers who have been following Brad Cooper’s excellent series of articles and letters to the editor will have the knowledge to tell Kondinin that WWF is not all it seems to be and that we are just pawns in a global strategy called the Market Transformation Initiative. The Queensland Government in their Queensland’s Agriculture Strategy, A 2040 Vision to Double the Value of Production at page 11 says that it wants to work with the Beef Roundtable to increase productivity.
Members, please make your views on this made known to the government. We have made a submission which covers this point but the objections need to be coming from more than one source.
We have had another busy year and will be off to a flying start after Christmas. Tom Marland of Creevy Russel Solicitors and Sharyn Munroe who wrote a book on the social and environmental effects of resource extraction are keen to do a tour through prospective mining areas in the new year. If you would like to host them in a local hall or similar, please ring or email the office. Copies of Sharyn’s book are also available from the office.
The Board and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year. Take care and stay healthy.
Property Rights Australia Inc.