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LNP laws continue to protect farmers and the Reef

LNP laws continue to protect farmers and the Reef

Thursday, 18 August 2016 - Source: Andrew Cripps MP Media Release

  • LNP’s vegetation management framework will continue to protect farmers and the Reef after Queensland Parliament votes down Labor’s extreme tree clearing laws
  • Tonight’s result is a clear message to Labor that their failed Bill is fundamentally unfair and would have reduced productivity in our agriculture sector and threatened jobs in our regions
  • After months of uncertainty, Queensland farmer and small business finally have confidence for their future

The LNP Opposition has successfully protected the rights of Queensland farmers while continuing to protect the Great Barrier Reef, after Labor’s extreme vegetation management laws, which came at the expense of the State’s agriculture sector, were voted down by Parliament.
Shadow Natural Resources Minister, Andrew Cripps, said he was pleased common sense had prevailed in State Parliament tonight, despite months of arrogant persistence from a Labor Government that failed to listen to widespread warnings from farmers on the front line, simply to secure the green vote.
“Tonight’s result is a huge win for Queensland’s farmers, small businesses and first home buyers and a vote of confidence in the strength of our laws in terms of the protection of the Reef - this sends a strong message to Labor that Labor’s laws were fundamentally unfair and unworkable,” Mr Cripps said.
“For months, Queensland’s farming industry has had their future hanging in limbo as Labor threatened to take away their rights and make them criminals on their own land.
“Our farmers deserve more credit than that – they know their land better than anyone and they deserve the rights to manage it effectively and responsibly.
“Last year, vegetation management activities occurred on just 0.15 per cent of Queensland’s land surface, proving Labor’s scare campaign on the future of the Great Barrier Reef was unwarranted and misleading.

“Labor’s laws would have removed property rights for our farmers and indigenous groups, reduced productivity of the agriculture sector, threatened jobs in our regions and led to skyrocketing land prices, making urban housing more expensive.
“Our farmers are already facing the impacts of one of the worst droughts on record, the last thing they needed were further setbacks brought about by a Government that should be supporting them.
“Our laws had the right balance between protecting our environment and allowing farmers to manage their land.”
Mr Cripps said tonight’s result was not just a win for Queensland’s farming community, but also for those looking to buy a home.
“If passed, Labor’s laws would have driven up house prices for families and first home buyers across the State, delivering another blow to our already struggling economy,” Mr Cripps said.
“After months of uncertainty, our rural families that supply the food and fibre we all need can now look towards the future with confidence.”

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Flinders River Gulf Water Tender Update


Tenders for unallocated water in the Gulf closed on 29 January 2016 and DNRM has assessed tenders for conformance with the provisions specified in the Terms of Sale.

DNRM is now in the assessment phase of the tender process. This involves considering proposals against Schedule 2 Evaluation criteria, including land suitability, vegetation management, cultural heritage and environmental values.

DNRM will be in contact with tenderers shortly to clarify or seek further information in relation to their tender. This phase of the process is expected to take several weeks. It is anticipated that offers will be made to successful tenderers and licenses granted before the end of June 2016.

Due to probity rules DNRM is not able to discuss the merits or progress of individual tenders.  If you would like further information about the process please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Key appointment supports irrigation development in north-west Queensland

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on its promise to further develop the newest irrigated cropping districts in north-west Queensland.

Dr LanceMinister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leanne Donaldson today announced, as part of a $500,000 investment, the appointment of Dr Lance Pendergast to work with landholders and industry in the Flinders and Gilbert catchments.

“Dr Pendergast will bring a wealth of experience to this area and through collaboration with industry will deliver results for the agricultural sector,” the Minister said.

Minister Donaldson said the government had made water available to landholders in the catchments to establish irrigated agriculture and it was time to focus on optimising economic returns.

“This is an exciting time in the history of north-west Queensland with the birth of an irrigated agriculture industry that has the potential to generate multi-million dollar returns for local economies.

“Crops such as cotton, rice, mungbeans, chickpeas and sorghum are already on the radar, however Dr Pendergast will apply some robust research to these, and other crops, to develop a suite of northern farming systems.”

Dr Pendergast said over recent years he had established close working relationships with growers within Central Queensland seeking to achieve improved production system efficiencies.

“I’m looking forward to assisting northern operators with the challenges ahead,” he said.

Dr Pendergast will start work from his base in Townsville in early April.

The appointment of Dr Pendergast builds on the successful engagement initiated between DAF regional industry development staff and local government, producers, landholders and the producers of the Gulf Rivers including Flinders River Agriculture Precinct Group.

Water resource assessments to unlock the full potential of the North

Major opportunities to expand irrigated agriculture across northern Australia are a step closer with a $15 million Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment by the CSIRO now underway.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Minister for Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said work was underway on water resource assessments of the Mitchell River basin in north Queensland; the Finniss, Adelaide, Mary and Wildman river basins in the Darwin region; and the Fitzroy River basin in Western Australia.
“These assessments are designed to ensure that any investment we make in water infrastructure delivers genuine returns at the farmgate, increases the capacity and productivity of agricultural industries and strengthens regional communities,” Minister Joyce said.
“Northern Australia has huge potential for economic development, including in agriculture, aquaculture and mining. For example, there are millions of hectares of soil that, with access to suitable water resources, could potentially support irrigated agriculture.
“These assessments will help us unlock this potential by providing a comprehensive evaluation of the feasibility, economic returns and sustainability of water infrastructure in each of these regions by undertaking comprehensive scientific analysis and modelling, and identifying and testing the commercial viability of development opportunities such as irrigated agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and mining.”
Minister Canavan said developing water resources is a key element of the government’s commitment to unlocking the great opportunities of the north and realising the full potential of northern Australia as an economic powerhouse.
“More than half of Australia’s rainfall occurs in Northern Australia but it remains largely unused. Developing these water resources would remove one of the constraints holding Northern Australia back,” Minister Canavan said.

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“Cubbie of the north” dream

Sally Cripps, Queensland Country Life

The interest in irrigated agriculture in the state’s north west brought on by the tender of nearly 700,000 megalitres of unallocated water in the Flinders and Gilbert River systems has revived a call for consideration for a large water project at Richmond.

Shire mayor John Wharton, who is also the interim chairman of the Developing Northern Australia Cooperative Research Centre, believes the O’Connell Creek project is deserving of strong investor interest and therefore state coordinated project status.

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Heavy rain bringing relief to north west Queensland

sml flinders river jw

Sally Cripps, Queensland Country Life - Photo: John Wharton

The tropical low that has been bringing heavy rain to the Northern Territory has been making its presence felt in Queensland as well, closing roads, filling rivers and stranding travellers in the state’s north west.


Investment forum points to bright NW irrigation future

sml AACO

Sally Cripps, Queensland Country Life

Potential irrigators in the greenfields Flinders River area have been urged to look back at history in order to go forward, as opportunity beckons with the release of 239,000ML of unallocated water to take place before June next year.

An investment forum held at Julia Creek recently began on an exhilarating note, with Flinders shire mayor Greg Jones declaring that north west Queensland could feed the world if it were given the opportunity to realise its opportunities, and continued when state Department of Agriculture representative Greg Mason said the region was in a real position to deliver grains, pulses and fibre, the first two to ready Asian markets.

Some of his optimism was based on the example of Richmond’s cropping pioneer Corbett Tritton, who Greg said “never flinched from his vision”.

“He has demonstrated what you could grow, and how to link it back to grazing and feedlotting,” he said.

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