Lowdown on vegetation changes

SOUTHERN Downs landholders will be offered the latest information about the Newman government's vegetation management reforms at a workshop in Warwick tomorrow.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the series of public information sessions would provide landholders with a comprehensive understanding of the vegetation management reforms that came into effect yesterday.

"We will establish an era of sustainable agricultural production in Queensland with the introduction of a new streamlined vegetation management framework to boost agricultural productivity and opportunities, particularly in regional and rural areas," Mr Cripps said.

"The information sessions run by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines will provide landholders with advice on the new, flexible and regionally-based vegetation management approval systems and how they will reduce the cost and regulatory burden on landholders."

Mr Cripps said the reforms included three key initiatives: nine self-assessable codes, vegetation mapping changes and support for appropriate clearing for high-value and irrigated agriculture.

"The new self-assessable codes will enable farmers and graziers to undertake routine property management activities by simply notifying the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, rather than applying for a permit," he said.

"Vegetation mapping has also been simplified through the creation of a state-wide regulated vegetation 'base' map, which clearly shows the areas of vegetation on their property that are assessable and non-assessable under the new vegetation laws."

Mr Cripps stressed the new laws did not allow for indiscriminate clearing.

"The Department of Natural Resources and Mines will continue to monitor vegetation management activities across Queensland, with penalties applying to those who do the wrong thing."

 The meeting will be held from 10am at the Department of Natural Resources and Mines office on the corner of Fitzroy and Guy Sts.

Topics:  enviornment native vegetation laws