Bundaberg Canegrowers Chairman Allan Dingle.
Bundaberg Canegrowers Chairman Allan Dingle. Mike Knott BUN260418DINGLE1

Farmers fuming over reef regulations report

THE region's farmers have expressed their frustration after a new report into the proposed Reef Regulations recommended no change to the bill despite more than 1000 people writing submissions to the cause.

Bundaberg Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle said the result was disappointing.

"I'm astounded that all the people that spoke not one recommendation was looked at,” Mr Dingle said.

"We're obviously being treated as people who have no understanding, but some of us have been here for 150 years.”

Hd said the new regulations would have dire consequences on the local cane industry.

"The proposal that has been put in place are one set of rules for the whole state,” he said.

"Whether you're a farmer in Bundaberg or a farmer in Mossman, no consideration has been made into things like rainfall amounts or average rainfall.

"Locally, if you have a block of land that hasn't grown cane for three of the last 10 years and you want to start growing it there again you have to do an environmental impact statement, but if it's any other crop you don't have to.

"To me that's grossly unfair. There's no science that supports it.”

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said disappointing was an understatement for the result.

"After weeks of lobbying the government to hold regional hearings on the Reef Regulations Bill, it seems it's all been for nothing,” he said.

"Instead of using the information from our industry professionals to create a bill that protects both the Great Barrier Reef and the rights of land owners, the committee has ignored our producers and stakeholders and their carefully curated knowledge from decades of work and commitment.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leeanne Enoch said action to protect the Reef needed to be taken now.

"For the last decade, the Queensland Government has supported agricultural industries to voluntarily improve their practices. However, uptake has not been fast enough and water quality has continued to decline,” she said.

"These laws were recommended by an expert taskforce,” she said.



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