If concern is rife now about vegetation management laws among land holders, the warnings been made at the weekend that the worst is yet to come.
Specialist rural lawyer Tom Marland, speaking at the weekend’s Property Rights Australia conference held in Charleville says now is the time for farmers to begin to develop a multi-faceted approach against the rising tide of pressure for even more restrictive laws.
Mr Marland warns the Wilderness Society’s election wish list included abolishing PMAVs, category X authorisations and self-assessable codes.
“I don’t say that to scare people but I’m actually telling you to say if you think we have a problem on our hands now, wait and see.”
“And we have two and half years to correct it because if we get another Labor government, this is what is going to happen, and we need to work out a multi-faceted strategy on how we are going to sort it out.”
MR Marland says under changes in the pipeline, fodder harvesting would be restricted to 100 hectares maximum, only if drought declared, and property owners would have to retain 30 % vegetation, maintaining this amount by regrowing or buying replacements.
He says farmers must now begin to look at all the tools available to them- everything from legal challenges, marketing and grassroots campaigns, to bridging the city and country divide.
“We have to do it in a united, considered, combined front,” he said. “If everybody is off running, doing their own thing, we are going to get attacked. We need to combine, do your own little thing, but be part of the process and everyone moving in the same direction. Whatever we do, do something.”
The events’ Keynote speaker, Peter Spencer also issued warnings.
“They don’t want you as the owner, they want many users of that land. What they are saying is this; we will not control the environment until we control the earth and while we have independent landowners, it’s not acceptable.”