This week we have seen bush fires ravage parts of Queensland bringing wide-spread destruction to communities.
It has been reported that these fires are due to the extreme heat-wave that Queensland has experienced in the last couple of weeks, however tree-clearing red tape and the locking up of land under the title of National Parks is also to blame for exacerbating the state’s bushfire crisis.
KAP State Leader and Traeger MP believes that the State Government has been negligent in allowing fuel loads in National Parks to go unchecked, thereby potentially adding to the bushfire crisis that has ravaged the state in the past week. Robbie, this week said:
“Tree clearing was the mechanical way of doing just what our First Australian brothers did before us, in the aim of thinning out country. This thinning by burning is what has helped us in the past to reduce fire fuels and thus reduced the overall severity of bush fires. Now, by turning so many parts of Queensland into National Parks and hamstringing the abilities of land owners to clear their own places, I suspect the government has turned Queensland into an incinerator.”
KAP’s Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto also believes that landholders should be given greater flexibility to clear land to make firebreaks as they see fit. He said he was concerned existing provisions in State Government legislation did not go far enough in giving landholders adequate flexibility to construct proper firebreaks which could potentially save their properties. In May landholders were again banned from broadscale clearing of remnant vegetation due to Labor passing their controversial Vegetation Management legislation. Famers warned that the reforms would be worse for the environment and posed an environmental risk as well as threatening their livelihoods.
Robbie Katter currently has the Vegetation Management (Clearing for Relevant Purposes) Amendment Bill before parliament, which aims to address gaps within the existing legislative framework that constrain the ability of primary producers to clear land for legitimate purposes and enable access to a reasonable appeals process.
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