Agforce vegetation management protest last month.
Agforce vegetation management protest last month. Stuart Quinn

Panel to investigate vegetation measures

AGFORCE has welcomed the establishment of an expert panel of eminent scientists to help the beef industry examine vegetation management measures for the mutual benefit of agriculture and the environment.

The scientific panel - which meets in Brisbane for the first time this month - is being established for the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework, a whole-of-industry initiative which defines sustainable beef production and provides evidence on how that is being achieved.

AgForce general president Grant Maudsley said harsh new vegetation management restrictions had recently been imposed on Queensland farmers on the basis of incomplete information, and the panel may help to fill in the blanks.

"The Queensland Government has been using satellite imagery for years to measure vegetation clearing rates for the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS), but they haven't been measuring how much vegetation in Queensland has grown at the same time,” he said.

"Briefing notes released under Right to Information laws reveal ministers were told in 2016 that we have accurate information on losses, but not accurate information on gains so in effect, the SLATS report has only told half the story.

"You can't and won't get the best environmental and agricultural production outcomes making decisions on incomplete data.”