CONCERNS: Agforce comments on the reef trigger concerns.
CONCERNS: Agforce comments on the reef trigger concerns. TEQ

LETTER: AgForce comment on reef brings response

IT IS clear that AgForce vice-president Georgie Somerset has absolutely no regard for the future of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) (Vegetation laws reverse onus of proof - Chronicle 2/06/2016).

In this article Ms Somerset demonstrates her ignorance of riparian ecology and it's bearing on the health of the GBR, and her statement that "farmers are the true environmentalists" is subsequently laughable.

Contrary to Ms Somerset's claim that "the science is completely unproven" on the environmental value of Category R vegetation, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that removal of this sensitive vegetation in GBR river catchments is a major factor in the demise of the GBR.

Ms Somerset's remarks also demonstrate how out of touch AgForce is with the concept of climate change, and what needs to be done to address the associated problems.

The agriculture sector takes up a major chunk of the pie chart of contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, and beef cattle take up more than 80% of the agriculture component of that.

The changes in vegetation management laws in Queensland have been put in place to reduce emissions, of which vegetation clearing is a major contributor.

Australia has enormous potential for carbon sequestration through management of vegetation and re-vegetation: Ms Somerset's position is going in the opposite direction.

Lastly, if, as Ms Somerset claims, development and job opportunities in the Wide Bay Region depend on farmers being able to clear Category R vegetation, then a regional economic downturn is near.



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