MORE TIME: Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has called for the government to give farmers more than two weeks to hand in submissions for Labor's proposed reef regulations.
MORE TIME: Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has called for the government to give farmers more than two weeks to hand in submissions for Labor's proposed reef regulations. Allan Reinikka

MP: Timeframe for govt's reef regulations unfair on farmers

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett has called for an extension on the submission deadline on Labor's proposed reef regulations.

Mr Bennett said a two-week period to speak up on the sweeping on-farm reef regulations included in the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Amendment Bill 2019 wasn't fair.

"Our farmers put in huge hours every single day to make sure Queenslanders have food on the table,” Mr Bennett said.

"Again we're seeing a complete lack of understanding for the people in the bush from the Palaszczuk Government, through their rushed consultation process.

"Our growers are constantly working on improvements and innovations that will help into the future.

"The feedback they will provide on this Bill should be of the utmost importance and they deserve more time to have their say on this significant piece of regulation.”

Mr Bennett said he supported calls for the Labor Palaszczuk Government to guarantee that every affected region would get regional hearings.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the government was taking quick action to accelerate efforts to improve water quality and safe guard the future of the reef.

"This is not just about the environment, it is about protecting the $6 billion the reef contributes to the economy and the 60,000 jobs which rely on its health,” she said.

"The LNP's nonsense claims about rushing consultation on the new regulations is complete fiction.

"Protecting the reef is one of our 6 Advancing Queensland priorities.

"We have been consulting on these changes for two years, including three separate public consultations in March 2017, September 2017 and January 2018, as well as closely engaging with peak farming and agriculture bodies through a dedicated advisory group that includes Agforce and Canegrowers, which has been providing input.”



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