Time running out for responses to bushfire, vegetation inquiry

Time running out for responses to bushfire, vegetation inquiry


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Photo Nick Moir.

Photo Nick Moir.

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The federal government wants to hear from the farm sector about the impact of bushfire management and vegetation regulations

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There’s two weeks left to make a submission to the federal House of Representatives inquiry into the the impact on the agricultural sector of vegetation and land management policies, regulations and restrictions.

The inquiry was called in double-quick time before parliament rose for its summer break, following the bushfires which swept through Central and North Queensland in December.

While the inquiry will focus on the impact of bushfires on regional communities, the terms of reference include scope to consider land clearing policy as well.

The issue has become politicised, as build-up of fuel loads in bushland has been blamed for the intense fires which killed stock and decimated rainforest.

The federal Coalition government blamed the Queensland Labor government’s native vegetation policies, which they argued restricted landowners and land managers from maintaining safe fuel loads in National Parks.

Northern Australia MInister Matt Canavan encouraged people to make a submission to the

“I want your voice to be heard. Let’s start the year by making Queensland Labor accountable for their anti-farming laws,” Mr Canavan said.

Labor said extreme weather and climate change were to blame.

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“These weather events are extreme, record temperatures are being set time and time again. Climate change is real and it needs to be addressed,” said Queensland Agriculture Minister Anthony Lynham last year.

Labor has commissioned Queensland’s Inspector-General Emergency Management to review the state’s response to the bushfires.

The terms of reference for the inquiry include:

  • Land and vegetation management by agriculture
  • The role the agricultural sector has in working with emergency services and forestry management officials in managing fire risk
  • Science behind back burning, clearing and land rehabilitation
  • The economic impact of vegetation and land management policies, regulations and restrictions
  • The impact of severe fires on agricultural and regional economies
  • Factors that contribute to fire risk in regional, rural and remote areas

Last year Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said land clearing laws had contributed to the extent of the fires and said indigenous burning practices should be considered in future management regimes.

“We have over one million hectares burnt out by mismanagement of land clearing and National Parks,” Mr Littleproud said.

Any inquiry should have terms of reference that take into account the State’s vegetation management laws and the increase in fuel that’s provided. Let’s put the science out there, let

“In terms of some of the practices of first Australians, we can learn a lot from them, they were doing it for thousands of years.

“Even in our farming practices we are looking to learn from them.”

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