Dean Sgroi, a cane farmer, says the regulations should return to what they were before the amendments in 2019. Picture: Mikayla Mayoh
Dean Sgroi, a cane farmer, says the regulations should return to what they were before the amendments in 2019. Picture: Mikayla Mayoh

Fight against reef regulations rages on

Stakeholders vehemently against the Reef Regulations bill were not surprised when the State LNP's disallowance motion was voted down, but they have vowed to continue the fight.

LNP environment spokesman David Crisafulli pushed to quash the bill which he said was a "crushing blow" for Queensland farming communities.

The bill, which was passed last year, put forward a number of regulations aimed at reducing agricultural run off into the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Crisafulli said the bill's uncertainty pits groups against one another and vilified regional farmers.

"A good government would support jobs and preserve the reef - it doesn't have to be one or the other," Mr Crisafulli said.

"Handing over decision-making power to set farming standards to a bureaucrat in Brisbane is dangerous and provides no confidence for future regulatory certainty.

"The role of government should be to work alongside farmers and communities toward environmental outcomes instead of forcing unworkable laws onto them."



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Cane farmer Dean Sgroi said he was surprised Mr Crisafulli's disallowance motion only targeted certain parts of the bill.

"We would have liked it to basically remove all the amendments that were bought in 2019," he said.

"It is just more regulation, more red tape, more paperwork for us and keeps us out of the field."

He added the State Government's reaction was to be expected because they hadn't done anything to help.

"We will be asking the hard questions of both the Government, the opposition as well as the minor parties on this matter (at the State Election looms)," Mr Sgroi said.

For Green Shirts Movement leader Marty Bella, he had concerns the State LNP member's support of this was tokenistic, but now he was beginning to feel like the Opposition truly backed farmers.

"(Now I can see) actual intent in doing something about mitigating the effect of those regulations," Mr Bella said.

"If they're going to use science as their reason, that science must be checked."

Great Barrier Reef Minister Leeanne Enoch said the science was clear that poor water quality was a threat to the reef.

"Improving water quality gives the Reef the best chance of survival in a changing climate," she said.

"The Palaszczuk Government's measures support the productive, profitable, and sustainable growth of farms and will grow a Reef safe agricultural industry."


Originally published as Fight against reef regulations rages on