QFF welcomes strategic cropping land policy frameowrk

Posted by Josette Dunn on 25th August 2010

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the release this week of a policy framework from the Queensland State Government, which aims to protect farm land from permanent damage that could result from destructive mining activities.On Monday, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson released the Queensland’s Strategic Cropping Land policy framework along with draft maps identifying areas eligible for protection as strategic cropping land. The maps identify about four percent of the State for its highly- productive agricultural characteristics.

QFF CEO Dan Galligan said the release of the framework was a positive step for the agricultural sector and the intent behind its development shows that the Government is listening and showing leadership on this difficult planning balancing act.

QFF will work with the government to see the framework can be implemented fairly and pragmatically to give greatest affect.

“Both agriculture and mining are big industries in Queensland and make very important contributions to the economy and employment,” Mr Galligan said.

“This policy framework is critical for ensuring the two industries and government are working together and thinking for the long-term.”

“This intent of framework recognises that agriculture makes a very valuable contribution over a very long time frame, and that our best land is a finite resource that needs to be protected.

“Safeguarding our best land from permanent alienation is an important acknowledgement that agriculture will still be producing for Queensland even after the minerals are gone.”

However, Mr Galligan added that while the policy framework was quite clear in protecting against activities such as open-cut coal mines, it remained unclear how much protection it would afford against the rapidly expanding gas industry.

“Farmers confronting challenges with coal seam gas expansion won’t necessarily have all their problems solved with this policy. This is one of many ongoing challenges we will be working with the government on solutions for.”

The policy framework comes as the government begins a series of seven coal seam gas community information forums in the Surat Basin. For more information on these forums visit www.lng.industry.qld.gov.au