Changes to the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 – a synopsis.

QDO Project Officer, Tony Mills undertook the arduous task of reviewing the recently announced changes to the Environmental Protection Bill and how it will or may impact the dairy industry within reef catchments. Tony’s synopsis is below:

The focus remains on improving the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef which is one of the Queensland Governments six priorities under Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities. The key focus is practices that will limit runoff from land-based agricultural and industrial land uses.

This bill covers the following acts:

  • Biodiversity Act 2004

  • Chemical Usage (Agricultural & Veterinary) Control Act 1988

  • Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EPA – 1994)

  • Fisheries Act 1994

  • Nature Conservation Act 1992

  • Vegetation Management Act 1999

 The acts with amendments made relevant to agricultural production are:

  • Chemical Usage (Agricultural & Veterinary) Control Act 1988

  • Environmental Protection Act 1994

  • Vegetation Management Act 1999

  • This bill will update and amend several key words and definitions relevant to each act and has been broadened to include all key agricultural sectors which includes Bananas, horticulture, grains, sugarcane and grazing (Beef);

  • Research and advice sought into the bill amendments has confirmed that the Dairy Industry continues to be considered a low risk and low impact agricultural environmentally relevant activity (Agriculture ERA);

  • Our vigilance towards self-regulation remains a cornerstone to minimising the impact as well as continually working towards applying innovation and good management decision in those on-farm practices that influence nutrient runoff and sediment load.