In a sensational blow to Australia’s food security, two of Cape York’s cattle stations have been ‘snapped up’ by what Mirani MP Stephen Andrew is calling a ‘Green Grabbing Queensland Government.’
The recent land purchases have deprived Queensland of two pastoral leases north of Weipa impacting the region’s food production capabilities. Almost 325,932 hectares of agricultural land has been lost across the Bramwell and Richardson stations and has led to calls for the buying program in Cape York to ‘stop.’
Mr. Andrew said ‘Since 2007, the Queensland Government has bought more than a dozen pastoral properties in Cape York, including Kalinga, Crosbie, Strathmay, Killarney, Dixie and Wulpan Stations. Bertiehaugh Station was bought by the Federal Government and renamed the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. All these stations have been permanently removed from Australia’s agricultural lands network and converted into national parks or wildlife reserves.’
In what grazier Emma Jackson described to the Brisbane Times recently, as ‘another nail in the coffin for the grazing industry, the Wolverton Station operator said that the sale of the Bramwell station was very troubling, adding ‘The state government might buy the land, but they don’t invest money into it. It’s not feasible or possible for them to manage it.’
The Queensland Government land-grabs have raised serious concerns among neighbouring graziers and station owners as the buy-ups impact ‘neighbouring stations and communities, as more money is ripped from town economies, along with countless jobs’Mr. Andrews said, throwing the future of the cattle industry into uncertainty.
The recent land acquisitions, which came without warning, did not provide the community with the opportunity to participate in any discussion or consultation process prior to the land purchases.
With many graziers suspicious of the government’s motives and speculating that it may be a move to buy up land to gain carbon credits, two things are certain – huge swathes of pastoral land have been permanently lost from Australia’s agricultural industry, and the governments ‘green grab’ needs to stop in the interests of our national food security.