Food and Agriculture Policy
PrinciplesThe Queensland Greens believe that:
- Agriculture is vital part of Queensland’s economy and cultural history.
- That as the managers of the largest proportion of Queensland’s natural and production landscape, farmers should be celebrated, supported and rewarded for the role they play in producing our food and managing our natural resources.
- Rural communities are a vital part of our society; and we must ensure they have a viable future.
The future and long-term viability of agriculture depends on the increased adoption of ecologically sustainable agriculture.
Good quality agricultural land is the state most important and scarce resource must be retained for sustainable productive use.
Supporting the continuous development of the skills and knowledge of land managers is vital for achieving more sustainable production and land management.
Animal production systems must respect the sentient nature of animals and maximise their quality of life.
The introduction of any more ecologically invasive plants, animals and diseases (including incompletely tested (long term ecological, human and animal) genetically engineered organisms and their products) must be prevented.
GoalsThe Queensland Greens want:
- Direct the Departments of Primary Industry & Fisheries, Natural Resources & Water and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and deliver an integrated state-wide policy, regulatory framework and funding mechanisms for the increased adoption of ecologically sustainable agriculture, improved natural resource management and expansion of off-reserve nature conservation.
- To establish a $10 million fund to provide to capital investment assistance for land
managers to adopt ecologically sustainable farming systems.
- To establish ongoing state-wide funding mechanisms for the provision of local high priority ecosystem services by land managers
- To institute local landscape-scale ecologically sustainable Land and Water Management Plans that include of all land uses (cropping, forestry, wetlands, biodiversity corridors, irrigation systems, mining and urban and industrial development) within the regional and state planning frameworks. This should include local scale mapping of good quality agricultural land.
- Maintain the role distinct role of Queensland Parks and Wild Service with significantly increased funding for the management of plant and animal pests with options for contracting to neighbouring landholders or community groups.
- Introduce and strengthen existing legislation to include strict application of precautionary principle regulations to prevent the introduction of ecologically invasive plants, animals and diseases including incompletely tested genetically engineered organisms and their products.
- Introduce legislation to ensure legal liability is imposed on the owners of genetically engineered organisms and their products and their agents for any contamination or damage resulting from their dissemination.
- To increase funding for user education, compliance monitoring and strengthening of regulations and codes in the use of agricultural chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertiliers etc) consistant with increased adoption of ecologically sustainable agricultural practices.
- Establish a comprehensive state research program (see also 'Higher Eduction' policy) to revitalise agricultural and natural resource management research institutes with increased funding of $50 million for research and development into:
- Economically and ecologically sustainable farming systems;
- Enabling agriculture to play a major economic and mitigative role in address climate
- Understanding the adaptations necessary to maintain healthy vibrant rural communities from the impacts of climate change and climate variability;
- Develop ecologically sustainable farming systems that reduce farm input costs resulting from peaking of oil supply (farm chemicals and fuels costs)
- Improving our understanding of the ecologically sustainable use of herbicides, pesticides and inorganic fertilisers.
- Assessment of genetically engineered organisms and their products, for the potential ecological and human health impacts according to the precautionary principle, using peer reviewed data and independent and transparent research processes.
- To implement a state-wide monitoring program for soil health and land capacity to assist in the development of policy options for sustainable agriculture.
- Increase support for regional natural resource management bodies, catchment groups, regional
environment councils, peak agricultural industry groups and local government in developing, delivering and monitoring of ecologically sustainable natural resource management strategies, within the state-wide framework.
- Provide $45 million in ongoing operating funds for regional natural resource management bodies to maintain organisation management function and core extension programs (to increase field days, seminars and other educational frameworks to promote ecologically sustainable practices)
- Provide $15 million in ongoing operating funds for sub regional catchment groups to maintain core management functions.
- Provide $10 million in ongoing operating funds for regional environment councils to maintain core management functions
- Provide $10 million to assist peak producers groups deliver industry programs to support adoption of more ecologically sustainable agricultural farming systems.
- Develop and introduce effective regulations to protect animal welfare, based on enforceable standards for Animal Husbandry that are monitored by an independent and adequately funded agency.
- Introduce food labelling legislation for all the ingredients for all foods and food products using standardised plain English that to include Place and Country of Origin, contaminants, use of animal-based products, whole of product carbon footprint, any applicable health warnings including allergy statements, ethical and environmental implications and indication of any ingredients derived from genetically engineering organisms.
- Introduce legislation and planning regulations to establish the primacy of good quality agricultural land over other uses and to protect it from alienation (by mining, urban and industrial development) supported by local scale maps.
- Facilitate community supported agriculture and local marketing initiatives that enhance connectivity between rural and urban communities, and drive demand for local, sustainably produced produce.
- Increase returns to producers and diversity and competition in the retail food industry by introducing fair competition legislation to reduce the dominance of major food retailers.