New law changes will allow proposals to expand cropping land

NEW laws covering land clearing and vegetation flagged on Wednesday in a speech from Queensland's Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps have been panned as a broken election promise by the Opposition.

In an address to the Rural Press Club advertised as "Taking the axe to Queensland's clearing laws", Mr Cripps said land clearing would be exempt from the Vegetation Management Act if it was "high value and irrigated high value agriculture".

Mr Cripps said the changes would allow proposals to start or expand cropping land while removing barriers inherent in the current legislation.

Property owners will also be able to inform the Department of Natural Resources when they deal with weeds or clear land rather than having to apply for a permit.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin said it broke a promise made before the election in 2012, when Campbell Newman said it would retain the vegetation management laws.

Mr Cripps made his announcement while the legislation itself was still out for public consultation.

"It is obvious the minister plans to ignore this public consultation and use the LNP Government's massive parliamentary majority to ram the tree clearing legislation through the house as they see fit," he said.

Mr Cripps' office said the Rural Press Club named the speech, not the minister.

The Parliamentary committee considering the legislation is due to report to Parliament on May 14.



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