TANGLED: Graham Sheppard says the new vegetation laws have left farmers unable to stop the spread some of pests.
TANGLED: Graham Sheppard says the new vegetation laws have left farmers unable to stop the spread some of pests. Renee Albrecht

Land clearing laws slammed by Gympie farmers

VEGETATION laws the State Government has passed to protect the environment will instead leave waterways like Wide Bay Creek a "corridor of cats claw," farmers have said.

Kilkivan farmer Graham Sheppard said this "disaster" would be the result of a policy which would not let him control a known pest.

"The cats claw has already killed the trees, but if we go and spray it ourselves the satellite will only show a dead tree," Mr Sheppard said.

"I'm just going to have to let it go. The way it reads you can't touch it.

"We've just got our hands tied."

The laws were passed on May 3, with Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham saying they would address concerns over Queensland's "unsustainable clearing".

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* 'All we want are fair laws for farmers'

* Perrett warns landowners: more vegetation law changes coming

At its worst, it was reported Queensland land was being cleared at a rate of 1000 football fields every day.

"This is balanced, measured and responsible legislation."

 

Graham Sheppard from Kilkivan on his property.
Graham Sheppard from Kilkivan on his property. Renee Albrecht

Mr Sheppard disagreed.

"It's really badly thought out. It's going to affect so many farmers," he said.

Restrictions around waterways would also strip him of the use of about one-third of his cultivation area, he said.

Mary Valley farmer John Cochrane also worried about the laws' long-term impact.

"You're not supposed to spray within 50m of the river," he said.

"Not enough thought has gone into this. If we're not allowed to control these weeds, we'll have poisonous weeds killing livestock.

"How do the animal liberationists handle that?"

Gympie Times


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