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    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    State Government restores balance to vegetation management laws

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    State Government restores balance to vegetation management laws

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps today announced a strategy that will streamline vegetation management across Queensland, maintain strong environmental standards and boost agricultural productivity.

    Mr Cripps outlined plans to make practical, common-sense reforms to the Vegetation Management Act in an address to the AgForce Annual Conference in Charleville.

    “The Newman Government is well on track to fulfilling its commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on landholders who have for years been brow-beaten by a complex web of legislation introduced by the former Labor administration,” Mr Cripps said.

    “Labor’s fixation on punitive vegetation management policies vilified primary producers, rather than recognising and encouraging sustainable land management practices.

    “The changes we are progressing will create flexible, regionally-based vegetation management approval systems that protect biodiversity and support productivity, while upholding the intentions of the original Act.”

    Mr Cripps said planned reforms to the Act and underlying regulations will allow landholders to:

    • Undertake routine management activities such as vegetation thinning, weed control, fodder harvesting and clearing of vegetation encroachment in accordance with self –assessable codes and without the need to regularly apply for permits
    • Receive exemptions for vegetation management activities undertaken to allow for environmental works, and as part of clean-up operations following natural disasters

    In addition, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines will work with local Natural Resource Management and other groups to create practical Area Management Plans (AMPs) that provide an alternative approval system where landholders will need to notify the Department of their intention to clear, then comply with the conditions of the AMP

    Mr Cripps said that the reforms were not a signal that the Newman Government was relaxing environmental standards.

    “I want to send a clear message to rural landholders and all Queenslanders that we are delivering on our promises to reduce unnecessary legislation, but that these changes will not give the green light for landholders to carry out indiscriminate land clearing,” he said.

    “Inappropriate vegetation management practices that show no regard for the environment can still be readily detected through regular satellite monitoring.

    “These changes are another step towards restoring trust between rural land owners and the Queensland Government that was destroyed by 20 years of Labor.”

    [ENDS] 10 September 2012

    Contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754