7th April 2016
Qld Vegetation Management
Reading Hansard from March 17 when the Reinstatement Bill was tabled the Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, said in her speech: “I want to make it very clear that the Palaszczuk government will honour the certainty that category X areas on property maps of assessable vegetation, or PMAVs, provides landholders. Landholders with existing category X areas prior to the introduction of this bill will be unaffected by the changes contained in this bill.”
This clearly demonstrates the legal certainty that PMAVs offer. However any landowner who wishes to undertake any clearing outside of Category X areas or who do not have a PMAV need to be very careful. The Reinstatement Bill has retrospective provisions, which means you could post March 17 be doing something perfectly legal now but could be prosecuted once the Bill is passed.
The Department now has available mapping of the new Category C (high value regrowth) and category R (reef catchments). Just like all previous mapping it will not be accurate and will need to apply for it to be corrected. However there is most likely little point trying to correct this mapping or for that matter apply for a PMAV until the dust has settled one way or the other over this Reinstatement Bill. By using your Lot & Plan numbers you can view this new mapping from this web site. https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/qld/environment/land/vegetation/vegetation-map-request-form
NSW Native Vegetation
Despite promises nothing was released by the end of March. Former NSW Farmers President, Mal Peters had a good opinion article in The Land newspaper in which he wrote: “The [NSW] government has a stated goal of increased agricultural production as the world population zooms toward nine billion, which is very laudable aim.
But how the hell can farmers achieve that when the NSW government’s own native vegetation law slices bits off our land to deliver greater environmental good for the whole community and magically the lost production and capital value will magically return?
Unfortunately, in real life the poor old farmers cop it in the neck with lost production and capital value on our land while governments enjoy the benefit of electoral popularity in the cities at no cost.
Perhaps the time has come if political parties want to represent the bush and protect farmers’ property rights it is time to stand on an important principal, because capitalist governments will fail if the basic tenant of property rights is not protected.”
Environmental Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2016.
The Qld government said about this Bill that it will, “avoid the State bearing the costs for managing and rehabilitating sites in financial difficulty.” In other words if a mine or any resource project is finished, or if the company is declared bankrupt the State (which ultimately means the taxpayer) isn’t left with massive rehabilitation costs.
Sounds like a good move and in our busy lives we should be able to not take any more notice. Except Melanie Findlay of Rees R Sydney Jones solicitors in Rockhampton found: “Whilst the Bill allows regulators to pierce the corporate veil and pursue controllers of these companies, there are some drafting problems that landowners should be concerned about.
“Related persons” under the Bill are required to take steps to comply with orders for clean up by regulators. “Related persons” specifically includes owners of land on which the company carries out or has carried out the environmental authority.”
Mineral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
The worst piece of legislation passed by the Newman government was the Mineral & Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act. PRA spoke out strongly about the erosion of rights in this legislation. http://evacuationgrounds.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/pra-regional-queensland-deserves-better.html
Even though it was passed, the previous minister, Andrew Cripps, had not enacted it before going to an election. This Mineral Amendment Bill is the new governments attempt to correct the many bad areas in the MERCP Act. However there remain areas of concern including the distance from homes that resource activity can be conducted. PRA will send in a submission by the due date of April 8. PRA has been asked to attend a hearing in Rockhampton on Thursday 14 April. https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/IPNRC/inquiries/current-inquiries/MOLAB2016
Please consider writing a submission
There are many reviews and inquiries due in the month of April as you can read below. The PRA board could very well not be able to respond to every one. If there is something below that interests you, please consider writing a submission. A submission doesn’t have to be long, of any special format. You can just state what is good or bad in what is being proposed; what they haven’t considered and how you have been impacted or could be impacted by the changes. A submission can be sent by post. If you have any questions or have not got internet and would like details FAXED to you, contact the office.
The Vegetation Management Reinstatement Bill is very important and the board asks as many PRA members as possible sends something in.
2016 Underground Water Impact Draft Report
The final report is very important to landowners with bores in the Surat Basin. In a 3 year cycle data is collected, a computer model is fine tuned to provide a prediction of water impacts by the CSG industry. The report can make all the difference to negotiating a “make good” agreement. You can find a link to the report and also the submission form from this web page:
Public Consultation Sessions are being held (RSVP not required):
• 11 April – Level 3, Toowoomba City Library, Cnr Victoria & Herries Sts – Session 1 is 2-4pm or Session 2 is 7-9pm
• 12 April – Dalby Golf Club, Moreton St – Session 1 is 2-4pm or Session 2 is 7-9pm
• 13 April – Club Hotel Chinchilla, Heeney St – Session 1 is 2-4pm or Session 2 is 7-9pm
• 14 April – Wandoan Cultural Centre, Henderson St – Session 1 is 7-9pm
• 15 April – Roma Cultural Centre, Cnr Quintin & Bungil Sts – Session 1 is 2-4pm or Session 2 is 7-9pm
Human Rights Inquiry – Due 18th April
A good opportunity to ask for protection from legislation that reverses the onus of proof, removes the defence of an honest mistake and has retrospective measures as does the current Vegetation Management Reinstatement Bill.
Gasfield Commission review – Due 22nd April
To read the Terms of Reference go to this link:
You can also fill out an online survey form here: https://haveyoursay.dsd.qld.gov.au/communication-services/gasfields-commission-review
Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 Due 25th April
Please consider responding.
Qld weed & pest animal strategy Due 26th April
Dale Stiller, Chairman
Property Rights Australia
Phone: 07 49 214 000
Fax: 07 49271 888
STAND YOUR GROUND