STRONG STANCE: Capricornia MP Michelle Landry listening to Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce as he addresses a crowd of 30 graziers and business owners yesterday.
STRONG STANCE: Capricornia MP Michelle Landry listening to Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce as he addresses a crowd of 30 graziers and business owners yesterday. Kerri-Anne Mesner

Shoalwater bay stance starts softening

THE Federal Agriculture Minister and the Member for Capricornia have joined forces and changed stances on compulsory acquisitions for the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area expansion.

A group of 30 graziers and businesses owners apprehensively welcomed Agriculture Minister, Barnarby Joyce's new stance on compulsory acquisitions, which he told them about at a meeting at Stanage Bay property, Couti Outi, owned by Lawson Geddes and his family.

The apprehension is understandable given Mr Joyce, on ABC Radio early yesterday morning, said there was no intention to compulsorily acquire land at Shoalwater.

The comment was made during an interview on ABC Radio Brisbane with Steve Austin.

"I've had discussions with the Prime Minister and Defence Minister about this,” Mr Joyce said.

"At this point in time, there is no intention of compulsory acquisitions. I never read there ever would be any compulsory acquisitions.”

At yesterday's meeting, Mr Joyce said it was his personal belief that there should not be compulsory acquisitions and he would be taking this matter to his colleagues when parliament resumes next week.

Capricornia MP, Michelle Landry, said compulsory land acquisitions would be a last resort however her comments yesterday suggest she is now pushing for this to be off the table.

"We certainly do not want to see compulsory land acquisitions,” Ms Landry said.

Mr Joyce said the Prime Minister had quite clearly stated he did not believe in compulsory acquisitions.

However on Thursday, Senator Matt Canavan said the government had acquired property against land owners' will before, and were willing to do it again.

Marlborough Against Defence Land Grab chairperson, Danii McKenzie said the committee welcomed Mr Joyce's stance, but until it was written on an official document they would not believe it.