Native vegetation regulation is imposing a burden on the farm sector and can jeopardise some environmental outcomes says ABARE executive director, Dr Brian Fisher in ABARE’s ( Autralian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics) September issue of ‘Australian Commodities’.
The report calls for the current strict laws on native vegetation clearing and management, to be overhauled, in NSW and Queensland, especially.
A more flexible approach to native vegetation conservation may achieve greater environmental outcomes, at a lower cost to the farm sector, than would a more rigid, blanket approach.
It says this ‘green’ legislation, originally intended to meet increased community demands for improved environmental outcomes, had become more restrictive in many states over the past decade or so.
Generally, farmers are more efficient than are governments, according to ABARE’s research. “Many farmers undertake activities, such as vermin and weed control that are of both private and public benefit,” Dr Fisher said. “However, a decline in profitability induced by native vegetation regulations may lead to lower levels of pest control.”
Dr Fisher explains that the cost of conserving native vegetation is likely to be an important factor in determining the future competitiveness of Australia’s broadacre agriculture industries on world markets.
“A more flexible approach may achieve better environmental outcomes at a lower cost to the farm sector,” Dr Fisher said.