AgForce and Cattle Council agree over need to protect ag land

NOT FOR SALE: The Olives sent a clear message to the ADF.
NOT FOR SALE: The Olives sent a clear message to the ADF. Contributed

SHARON Howard says the news compulsory acquisition is off the table is a great win for the entire rural community around Marlborough.

"Not only are landholders who didn't want to sell able to relax, landholders who are keen to sell can continue negotiations with the Defence Department,” she said.

The Central Queensland regional AgForce manager said the last couple of months had highlighted a number of defence-related issues including the "atrocious state of the current Shoalwater Bay training facilities”.

"AgForce is calling on both levels of government to address vegetation management issues within current defence land holdings to ensure the expansion debacle wasn't a complete waste of time,” Sharon said.

"We need to learn from what we've all been put through and find a way to ensure it never happens again.”

Sharon says defence needs to use the land they already have in an effective and sustainable way, just the same as farmers have to every day.

"We can't afford stop caring for our land because we don't have a couple of billion dollars to just buy more,” she said.

"Agricultural land is highly valued and very valuable and it should be recognised as such, particularly from governments of the day.”

Cattle Council CEO Duncan Bremner said once the government had their boots on the ground consulting with landholders, the answer surrounding compulsory acquisitions was clear.

"Once the government recognised there had been flaws in the consultation and negotiation process, they listened and understood the negative impact of forced acquisitions of productive land outweighed potential benefits.

"Most importantly though, they acted.

"Whilst we have a vast country, we must preserve those areas that agricultural practice can manage, sustain, and produce from.

"Cattle Council will continue to oppose compulsory acquisition of prime agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes without consultation and negotiation.”

Topics:  agforce cattle council marlborough

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