Mark Collins
Mark Collins Chris Ison

Farmers protest in Rockhampton today to save their future

FARMERS from throughout the region will gather in Rockhampton today to protest against proposed Queensland and federal Labor laws on vegetation clearing on farming properties.

 The protest is expected to start at 10am at the Kershaw Gardens, opposite the Knight St turnoff from the Bruce Hwy.

The reason for today's protest is because farmers believe proposed Queensland anti-vegetation-clearing laws, if passed by State Parliament, will devastate family farming operations in the region.

The federal Labor party has threatened to introduce similar laws nationally if elected on Saturday, effectively employing a force of "tree police" to micromanage what happens on Australian farms.

Just last week AgForce State councillor and Moura landholder Mark Collins said the legislation would cost regional centres jobs and cause food prices to increase.

The fifth generation Queensland grazier said the proposed legislation would mean farmers were restricted from managing their own land.

"I'm very disappointed and I'm angry and confused. We're good land managers and this legislation is not only unnecessary, it's going to cost regional centres like Rockhampton, it's going to cost jobs and it's eventually going to impact the price of food and make it dearer," he said.

"We are disappointed in being demonized for the good work we do in.

"But that is very small in comparison to the actual condition of the land that we want to manage to be able to hand onto further generations and that cost is immeasurable.We are good land managers that hold this land very dear to our hearts and we do not want it politicized."

Clearing involves bulldozing trees, or ripping them from the ground with a large metal chain, to make way for agriculture or development.