"I'm disappointed for farmers and it's hard to see how they can be profitable or viable into the future,” Bundaberg Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle said. Eliza Goetze

ANGER: Canegrowers says vegetation laws 'nail in the coffin'

BUNDABERG Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle has labelled proposed changes to vegetation laws as a "another nail in the coffin” for agriculture.

The comments came as the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing the amended bill recommended it be passed, effectively agreeing that limits on clearing of native vegetation for high-value agriculture projects and tougher vegetation management restrictions be put in place.

But Mr Dingle said it would destroy livelihoods.

"I'm disappointed for farmers and it's hard to see how they can be profitable or viable into the future,” he said.

AgForce general president Grant Maudsley shared those sentiments, saying the recommendation was an "absolute disgrace” and "slap in the face” for farming families who took the time to have their say and travelled vast distances to give evidence.

"These laws are the worst of both worlds. The changes will make it harder for farmers to grow food and fibre, shut down agricultural development opportunities and lead to worse not better environmental outcomes,” he said.

And the LNP has backed landholders, vowing to continue to fight the laws and stand up for farmers and property rights.

The tree and land clearing law changes were proposed by Labor off the back of data from the Climate Council that showed Queensland accounted for up to 65% of the total loss of native forests in Australia over the last four decades.

Its latest report Climate Change and Land Clearing: Risks and Opportunities in the Sunshine State, showed more than one million hectares of woody vegetation, an area more than seven times larger than the size of Brisbane, had been cleared between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

Climate councillor and international climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said the report demonstrated the significant role that land clearing regulation played in tackling climate change, with weak laws leading to extensive clearing and large amounts of greenhouse gas pollution.

"Queensland's land use sector alone was responsible for 19 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution in 2015.”



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