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Federal intervention unlikely over park grazing

Virginia Tapp, Wednesday June 26, 2013 - 12:53 EST
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Tony Burke says SA irrigators cannot be spared some of the pain of water cuts - ABC

The Federal Environment Minister says he won't take legal action against Queensland graziers accessing national park land to feed stock, but rural lobby group AgForce say he's not being transparent.

Tony Burke was unavailable for an interview but in a statement he told the ABC: "I have no intention of personally launching action against any of the graziers involved.

"If the Queensland Government could be bothered structuring this proposal the way the Victorian Government structured theirs, then legal action launched by third parties could only be taken up with State Government rather than individual graziers.

"The fact that the Queensland Government has structured it this way speaks volumes for the fact that they are more concerned about playing political games against me, than they are with assisting any of the graziers in Queensland."

AgForce still isn't satisfied saying the minister hasn't confirmed whether graziers will be allowed the full six months' access to protected areas, but the Department of National Parks, Sporting and Recreation (DNPSR) says it's highly unlikely Mr Burke will use his powers as Federal Minister to intervene and stop temporary grazing permits.

"The only thing Tony Burke can do is use minute legislation within one of his Acts to actually go after the farmers, and that's only if the farmers do something totally inappropriate, by destroying a native species that is protected under Federal government legislation," said Queensland National Parks Minister Steve Dickson.

Mr Dickson says Mr Burke's refusal to condone the national parks grazing plan is a ploy to win green votes.

The change to legislation was a joint venture between Queensland rural lobby group AgForce, the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (QDAFF) and the DNPSR.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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