Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

'Businesses, Workers and Farmers Hit'; Perrett Warns on Impact of Veg Laws

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

'Businesses, Workers and Farmers Hit'; Perrett Warns on Impact of Veg Laws

Article excerpt

GYMPIE farmers, graziers and landholders were callously abandoned by the State Labor Government on Thursday night, says Gympie MP Tony Perrett.

Mr Perrett said the extent of "these draconian laws will impact everyone from owners of small rural acreages to large landholders".

"This is not just about graziers and farmers, these laws will have a flow-on effect to Gympie small businesses, workers and families," he said.

"The government has shut down debate, let loose tree police, and found landholders guilty with no chance to defend themselves.

"This is the type of government you expect in a Stalinist State.

"They have given unfettered powers for tree police to enter properties purely on the basis they 'believe they have reasonable grounds'.

"If anyone transgresses they face draconian financial penalties which have increased tenfold and include jail time.

"The committee investigating the legislation was more like a stacked show trial which found landholders guilty and ignored any evidence put before it.

"If a PMAV has not been locked in, local landholders will be shocked to find how much they cannot do.

"Self-assessable codes have effectively been turned into development applications with a $3000 application fee and most likely additional expenses in having to use consultants.

"I have real concerns that the re-categorisation of regrowth and Category R rating that is now applied to the Burnett and Mary Rivers catchment will make it virtually impossible to conduct activities in some areas.

"Any mapped watercourse will now have 100m of almost unusable land along it because the government has placed severe restrictions on any vegetation control.

"We are talking about everything including gullies and small drainage features which are everywhere in our region.

"The expansion to the one size fits all approach to Cat R regulations will accelerate erosion. …

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