The introduction of new state government regulations on new or expanded commercial cropping and horticulture activities in five Reef catchments has been deferred until 1 June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the regulations, growers who want to plant new crops or expand existing plantations on land that is between five and 100 hectares or more have to show that the land has a cropping history (cropping for at least three of the last 10 years and at least one in the last five years).
If the land does not meet the cropping history test, an environmental authority (permit) must be obtained before the activity or any work takes place. This permit will outline the steps growers must take when designing the new farm.
The new regulations apply to land in five Reef catchments, being Cape York, Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary.
While public consultation on the new regulations has been officially deferred until later in 2020, ABGC Reef Extension Officer Robert Mayers will be canvassing growers over the coming weeks to provide input into an ABGC submission about the new regulations.
This will allow the ABGC to continue to negotiate with the Queensland Government and deliver for growers a more practical outcome for new banana developments.
Any grower wishing to talk to Robert can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0447 000 203.
More information about the regulation can be found here