The recent announcement by Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps, outlining the changes to Queensland’s vegetation laws, has been welcomed by Life Sciences Queensland Limited (LSQ) CEO, Mario Pennisi as a move that will promote a balance between being environmentally sensible and economically prudent.
The Government has proposed reforms to Queensland’s vegetation management framework which will allow farmers to clear land for “high value” and “irrigated high value” agriculture.
Mr Pennisi believes the removal of the “green tape” will help farmers to achieve higher value crops whilst ensuring sustainable land management – a win for both greens groups and industry.
“This is a good move by the Government and LSQ are happy to work with all stakeholders involved to develop environmentally sustainable activities that aid Queensland agriculture, the environment and our economy. The Bioeconomy is a key driver for Queensland’s economic diversity – and just as we are about to host the G20, this is an important time to give farmers, industry, investors, and the Queensland public the planning certainty they need,” Mr Pennisi said.
“Queensland needs forward thinking policies that support our farmers and protects our unique environment. Farming and agriculture are hugely important to our economy and this policy will ensure that our rural communities and agricultural industry prosper whilst ensuring environmental health” he said.
The proposed changes – announced by Minister Cripps - would keep buffer zones around rivers that lead to reef water catchments, but clearing for weed management, fodder harvesting, thinning, managing encroachment and the installation of property infrastructure would become self-assessable.
It is hoped this will form a framework that supports landholders who sustainably manage their land.
Mr Pennisi said that the policy review is an important step forward for the life sciences industry in Queensland and he is looking forward to working with the government and LSQ Members to further grow, promote and develop the industry.
“Life Sciences are increasingly important to our State’s economic prosperity. Agriculture, energy and mining, biomedical, environmental, marine and industrial sectors are industries that significantly contribute to our economy and we need to continually strive to develop these industries in a sustainable and responsible way to ensure a secure future,” he said.
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