Stock Route Decision Needs to Come Off the Shelf

An Open Invitation to Natural Resources Minister, Anthony Lynham has been put on the table to come and speak to the Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) about a new model for stock routes management.

Chairman of RAPAD Councillor Rob Chandler has out the offer on the table as the State Government shelves its pre-election commitment to the Stock Route Network Bill.

The Bill failed to make it through the last sitting of Parliament before the last election and the Minister says the bill has now been shelved, despite the hours of work and investigation that went into its construction.

That new bill was aimed at improved the management of Queensland’s stock routes and was the result of investigations by a parliamentary committee, public hearings and submissions which resulted in a key recommendation of a move for local government to take over their operation.

And despite legislation being framed, Natural Resources Minister, Anthony Lynham, now says stakeholders, who include drovers, conservationists and indigenous representatives as well as local government and AgForce, continue to differ strongly in their views on how this can be best managed.

“It was in the best interests of graziers, drovers, local authorities and the stock routes themselves to look at how we can reach a consensus on managing the network into the future.”

RAPAD chairman, Rob Chandler, said it was impossible to proceed without the government engaged.

“If the government has an appetite to change the Stock Route Act, the RAPAD area wouldn’t be a bad place to start.”

“We have a large part of the network on our patch, and a lot of diversity, but we would have to have a black and white guarantee of an infrastructure fund that meant the watering facilities on the primary route were first class.”

“It’s in the ‘who cares’ basket at the moment. If local government was to control the primary network and recoup money, they would have grazing, agistment and hay making permits on the primary route that would make it redundant for travelling stock.”

Cr Chandler says he’s keen to see the Minister come to the table and talk the issue through further.

“If Dr Lynham wants to come out and speak with RAPAD, he’s welcome.”