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Oz Green Group Grabbing Grazing Land

20 March 2009

AUSTRALIA - AgForce Cattle has slammed claims from an 'extreme radical conservation' spokesperson this week targeting 21 million hectares of currently productive farmland under proposed changes to regrowth management in Queensland.

“This is the land on which more than 3.1 million cattle graze out of a herd of 11.6 million in the state,” said AgForce Cattle acting president Grant Maudsley.

“The proposals of these green extremists will rip the heart out of the $3.4 billion Queensland beef industry; our communities, our customers and so many jobs throughout the state.”

Mr Maudsley said the past few days of the election campaign have revealed a misguided green agenda by certain individuals who are pressuring both prospective governments into making snap policy decisions on regrowth management.

This contrasts with the many years of progressive work in the industry and balanced policies put forward by AgForce, the farm group which represents the majority of Queensland’s beef producers. The AgForce policy calls on the next Queensland Government to reduce impediments to business by committing that there will be no changes to the existing vegetation management legislation.

“These laws have seen massive decreases in overall land clearing and allow for continued use through management of regrowth on ‘white zones’ listed under individual Property Maps of Assessable Vegetation (or PMAVs). These white zones appear to be the target of the green push, which would slash food production in these areas to less than 20 percent of current amounts.

“AgForce Cattle will not tolerate a single hectare of well managed and productive grazing land being forced out of use by green lobbyists irresponsibly capitalizing on the current political balance,” Mr Maudsley said.

“Our members manage the vast majority of Queensland’s agricultural land in a sustainable and productive manner. We have cared for the land for generations, running cattle on developed pastures which are sustainable and which are the most productive sources of food in the world.”

AgForce members run cattle at sustainable stocking rates on these areas at production rates of between 20 and 110 kilograms of beef per hectare per year, meaning this highly productive country is therefore able to provide between 2.1 and a staggering 11.5 billion meals every year.

The area proposed for removal from grazing by banning the management of regrowth is therefore currently producing well over 420 million kilograms of beef, which accounts for production equalling 40 percent of Australia’s total beef consumption (on a per capita basis).

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