24th March 2016
PRA has to turn a lot of attention to the Qld government changes to the Vegetation Management Act (more below). There are also a number of other Bills and reviews that PRA should provide a submission to on your behalf that are due in April. Because of major life or work events there is usually a board member who has to step back for a week or two. Currently there a two board members who can’t provide much assistance for some time for very valid reasons.
Help with the PRA Conference – Because of constitutional requirements about the AGM the conference has to be held by the end of June and there has been as yet no planning done. Over the last number of months the board has been very busy. There was no Christmas break because a lot of work, then and since, has been spent on the High Value Agriculture (HVA) issue.
Can a couple of families from an area get together and please put up their hand to help host the conference in their local town. What is required is for all those small details that makes a get together work smoothly – a good venue including a good sound system; a town with plenty of accommodation; a date to be set ASAP that requires local knowledge of no other major event on in town that day or weekend; catering.
Anyone who has done some event organising and promotion who could help the PRA board with the big items would be appreciated. It discussions the board has had about the next conference it was thought to wind back the number of speakers, increase the time attendees can interact together; allow enough time for members to bring their thoughts to the AGM. We don’t have to run the conference every year to the same format and if anyone has any ideas, it would be appreciated. As Chairman I would be interested to learn what is needed for the next generation to attend and what this younger age group would like to see at a conference.
Please contact the office or email myself as the Chairman – email@example.com
Qld Vegetation Management
There would not be too many PRA members that have not heard and are not angered by what the Qld Government has in its new Bill introduced to Parliament tightening up of the Vegetation Management Act. It was expected that The Qld government would make a show of taking Qld landowners back to the Beattie draconian laws. But there is more; not only is the nonsense of Bligh’s addition of high value regrowth returned but it goes even further. The Bill is retrospective to when it was introduced on March 17. There will be no compensation to applications in for HVA permits and changes affecting PMAV’s. HVA provisions will be completely removed which is an injustice especially to North Qld landowners with the governments SLATS report showing regions with remnant vegetation as high as 97%. Then there is the expansion of the Category R vegetation restrictions that had only applied to the wet tropics and now to around a thousand new landowners in the Eastern Cape York Peninsula, Fitzroy and Burnett/Mary catchments. It’s unacceptable that a government for whatever reason wishes to reverse the onus of proof which is also in this Bill. Deputy Premier Jackie Trad seems to quite proud to oversee the removal of the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
The justifications made by the Qld government, most of which is parroting the likes of TWS & WWF, is emotional alarmism which when placed in context is very weak. The government’s own SLATS report disproves much of the rhetoric.
The Bill has been sent to Parliamentary Committee with the report due on June 30 and a vote taken in the next sitting of Parliament after that date. PRA will be making a submission. Ultimately it will be the vote that will be important with ALP stubbornly sticking to trying to pass the Bill, LNP and KAP opposing the Bill, which leaves 3 cross benchers including the Speaker.
The Speaker on an ABC Country Hour interview said that it was farcical when one side of politics is elected it has to reverse what the other side did and at the next change over, it’s reversed yet again. A long term solution needs to be found. Fair enough, but on his next point that a compromise should be made with environmentalists I cannot agree. There is no compromise to be had with the extreme end of the environmental movement. When you think you have reached an agreement, it’s not long down the track and they want more. The reality is they want their way and the highway.
The large environmental organisations want control.
Self-assessable clearing codes
One reform made by Andrew Cripps in the May 2013 amendments to the VMA that the current government is retaining is the Self Assessable codes but they are changing the Guidelines to the codes. As these guidelines are regulation, not legislation, it is being conducted separately to the current vegetation Bill. Next newsletter I will endeavour to provide an analysis of these changes.
Senate CSG Inquiry
PRA sent in a comprehensive submission to this inquiry. It took a lot of work and a lot of time. When it is published on the Senate Committee’s web page we will publish it on the PRA web site. Many thanks to those who wrote statements of their experience with CSG. These were added as an appendix and referred to in the submission as supporting evidence.
GasFields Commission Review
Announced on March 22 with submissions closing on April 22
Dale Stiller, Chairman
Property Rights Australia
Phone: 07 49 214 000
Fax: 07 49271 888
STAND YOUR GROUND