New regulations to protect the Great Barrier Reef come into effect from tomorrow.
New regulations to protect the Great Barrier Reef come into effect from tomorrow.

Farmers in firing line: New Reef rules in effect tomorrow

CONTROVERSIAL new reef regulations introduced by the State Government will come into effect tomorrow despite fierce opposition.

As of tomorrow, all graziers, sugarcane and banana producers in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary regions will be required to keep general records.

Grain and horticultural producers must keep records from 1 December 2022.

Primary producers in the same regions must also comply with industry minimum practice standards as they are applied over the next three years.

The minimum practice standards focus on retaining nutrients and sediment on farms in an effort to reduce run-off and improve water quality.

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said several reports released earlier in the year showed urgent action was needed to save the Great Barrier Reef.

“We know the two biggest threats to the reef are climate change and water quality, and the laws passed (in September) will help improve water quality flowing to the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Enoch said.

“The proposed regulations will mirror practices that are already accepted by industry that strike a balance between reducing run-off while improving productivity and profitability.”

But the new regulations don’t come without their fair share of opponents.

Bundaberg Canegrowers manager Dale Hollis said in September the regulations would simply add more red tape for farmers to wade through.

“With a demonstrated strong track record in environmental excellence and layers of existing State and Federal legislation in place, there is no need to further increase regulations on farmers,” he said.

“All the State Government’s proposed reef regulations will bring is more red tape for the farmers, more costs in this vital regional Queensland industry and no benefits for our environment or our communities.”



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