Hundreds of farmers picketed State Parliament today, over proposed new land-clearing laws. The farmers say the laws are unfair and will ruin their livelihoods. But green groups are applauding the changes.

Gemma Niwa reports.


Farmers are up in arms about proposed changes to vegetation management laws saying they’ll only hurt farmers, and the people they feed.

Peter Moore, Fifth Generation Farmer: “Yeah it means our livelihood, we’re fifth generation farmers.”

Scott Sargood, Charleville Beef Farmer: “We don’t get a voice down here, although we’re getting a voice today.”

They’d travelled from all over the state decked out in green to make their angry political statement.

Michael Geurin, AgForce: “All over Queensland people are wearing green shirts as we reclaim the environmental middle-ground as the best custodians of our land.”

Hundreds of people gathered out front of parliament house today, protesting deforestation laws and claiming they are the true environmentalists.

Conservation groups aren’t buying it.

Gemma Plesman, The Wilderness Society Queensland: “We need strong laws that protect the 45 million native animals that are killed every single year. We need strong laws so that Queensland can get itself off the list of top ten deforestation hotspots.”

The farmers handed a petition signed by 17,500 people to Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington who took the argument onto the Parliamentary floor.

Deb Frecklington, Opposition Leader: “My question is, will the Premier show some common decency and go out and listen to those Queenslanders’ concerns?”

Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier: “Mr Speaker, not only do I listen to the farmers, I went down to the pub and had drinks with them Mr Speaker!”

The laws are set to be debated in Parliament all week.

Gemma Niwa, QUT News.