SELF assessable codes are crucial to the ongoing management of vegetation in Queensland, but their execution would be greatly enhanced if more accurate mapping was available.
AgForce president Grant Maudsley said under existing vegetation management laws, landholders could effectively self-determine how an area of land could be treated based on what was actually on the ground, rather than what was on the map.
“Of course, landholders have to keep records and log the area using GPS waypoints, but essentially where the mapping is clearly wrong landholders have been able to use common sense,” he said.
“Landholders know there are errors in the mapping because they have to work with it on the ground and even the government acknowledges up to a 10 per cent error rate.
“Accurate mapping would certainly take a lot of heat out of the discussion and we would welcome any assistance that can be given to the Queensland Herbarium.”
It cannot just be about stopping tree clearing and bashing farmers.
Mr Maudsley said the vegetation debate needed to move away from simplistic messages about protecting trees.
“This has to be about getting the balance right and delivering outcomes that work in the interests of both the environment and agriculture,” Mr Maudsley said.
“It cannot just be about stopping tree clearing and bashing farmers, who are ultimately in the business of putting food on people’s tables.
“Agriculture makes a $60b contribution to the nation’s economy and we are constantly being told we have to double our efforts by 2050.
That can only be achieved if we have the appropriate framework in which to operate.”
Mr Maudsley said thickening and encroachment were both well recognised as major problems in maintaining a healthy landscape.
“As landholders we have to be able to productivity manage the landscape,” Mr Maudsley said.
“That means looking for outcomes that meet our triple bottom line (social, environmental and financial) obligations.
“A good starting point is to get the mapping right.”