Letters to the editor

SNIFFER: Mount Isa Police Dog Flynn with handler Sergeant Michael Silman enjoyed checking out the surrounds at Mount Isa City Council on Wednesday. Photo: Derek Barry
SNIFFER: Mount Isa Police Dog Flynn with handler Sergeant Michael Silman enjoyed checking out the surrounds at Mount Isa City Council on Wednesday. Photo: Derek Barry

Green hysteria on land clearance

The release of the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) has seen the hysteria around clearing land for agricultural production ratcheted up yet again by green groups like the Wilderness Society and the Queensland Conservation Council.

Farmers need to manage vegetation on their land to sustainably produce food, yet election after election, we are attacked over how we produce this food.

Despite the tired old analogies about how many football fields are cleared every minute, the facts are that just 0.23 per cent of the total land area of Queensland was cleared in 2015/16, and two thirds of that was to manage regrowth.

Claims of “deforestation” are completely misleading as the vegetation management debate has absolutely nothing to do with state forests and national parks, and is more about how open woodlands are managed on private and leasehold properties.

SLATS only looks at half the story by reporting clearing statistics while failing to accurately measure how much vegetation has regrown – a flaw the Queensland Government has acknowledged.

Farmers love and care for their land and know how to manage it responsibly. 

The vast majority of farmers are true environmentalists who are engaged in conservation activities like biodiversity projects, nature refuges, tree planting and the voluntary retention of vegetation that could be cleared – all for little or no market reward.

In addition, more than 2000 producers across Queensland managing more than 28 million hectares of land have adopted the Grazing BMP program to benchmark their business against the best industry standards using the best available science. 

Let’s cut the hysteria and selective use of statistics, and instead look at how we can all work together to ensure good outcomes for both the environment and primary producers. 

This State Election will see a significant focus on regional Queensland, and voters in marginal seats around Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Maryborough, in particular, should not underestimate their power to shape our next government. 

I encourage you all to get involved in the upcoming election, have your say and put a human face in front of the politicians who are making decisions that affect our lives and our livelihoods.

Grant Maudsley,

AgForce General President 

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Lisa, the owner of Bella Duck responded to the story “Struggling Mount Isa retailers shut up shop”.

"My decision in closing down Bella Duck has been a very difficult one. I have been very lucky to have and had amazing staff and fabulous customers mostly whom I call friends. After the sale had fallen through, I had to put myself and family first so the decision was made to close the Duck. The decision to close has nothing to do with the economy of Mount Isa. I believe if a business is to survive it has to accomodate what is happening around it. 

Over the past 10 years the Duck has changed to adjust to the highs and lows of the local economy, and the many elections of prime ministers I think it's 8 in 10 years. But I'm proud to say we go out on a high. I have always believed that being in retail is to please your customer, so I have decided to share my brands with my friends in business. So most of the customers favourite brands will still be available at other shops in town, just not at the Duck. 

Having been born here in Mount Isa, I am proud to say this is a fabulous city with so much opportunity. It's a city that will give you a go if you chose to work hard and listen to the local people around you. I want to leave on a positive note....please be grateful and support what you have in Mount Isa.

If you have a dream give it a go in the Isa."