Monday, October 3, 2022

Have your say on the future of Queensland’s stock routes

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The Honourable Scott Stewart, Qld Minister for Resources, Media Release, 16 July 2021

Farmers, councils, industry groups and outback locals are invited to have their say on proposed changes to the use and management of Queensland’s vital stock routes, to ensure they are well maintained into the future.

Photo: Queensland Government

Resources Minister Scott Stewart visited Charleville, Longreach and Ilfracombe this week, towns situated along primary stock routes, announcing that consultation on the Stock Routes Network discussion paper has opened.

“The Queensland stock route network has a long history of supporting landholders in moving livestock, providing pasture for emergency agistment in times of drought, and long-term grazing,” Mr Stewart said.

“The stock route network is a key piece of infrastructure for Queensland’s $18.5 billion dollar agriculture sector – a sector the Palaszczuk Government is staunchly supporting as it’s vital to our state’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“The 72,000 km network is used to feed and move up to 330,000 stock each year across 48 local government areas.

“The proposed changes outlined in the discussion paper aim to create a better funded stock route network that provides better outcomes for the drovers and farmers that rely on the network each year.

“Queensland’s local councils are the primary caretakers of the network, ensuring routes in their areas are monitored and maintained.

“This includes regularly checking water facilities, undertaking weed and pest control and upgrading facilities where needed.

“To help maintain and upgrade the network, councils collect fees from network users, but currently this only represents about 4% of the total funds they need to cover the costs.”

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin applauded the Minister’s leadership in moving this critical issue forward.

“We congratulate the Government in its decision to bring this to conclusion for the benefit of industry, communities and producers, and look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the Minister and other stakeholders,” he said.

“Our aspiration is that we will soon see a functional, active route for travelling stock that serves Queensland for centuries to come.”

Local Government Association of Queensland President Mark Jamieson welcomed the release of the discussion paper.

“Queensland councils have been seeking stock route reform over several decades to ensure the future sustainability of the network, a critical resource for the state’s agricultural sector,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The LGAQ looks forward to working with the Minister, the department and our member councils as reform discussions continue.”

Mr Stewart thanked both AgForce and the Local Government Association of Queensland for working in partnership with Queensland Government agencies to ensure the network is well managed for many years to come.

“It’s about making sure users of the network are paying a fair and reasonable price for the benefits that they gain, ensuring that every cent that is generated from users’ fees is reinvested in managing the network, reducing councils’ administrative costs,” Mr Stewart said.

“This round of consultation builds on the vital feedback users, industry and key stakeholders provided over the past two years, and proposes changes that aim to make it quicker and easier for councils to manage their stock routes.

“Consultation and collaboration has been a key part of the Queensland Stock Route Network Management Strategy and this is a continuation of that process.”

Consultation on the discussion paper opens today, Friday 16 July 2021 and will run for eight weeks.

An interactive consultation website is live where people can find out more information about Queensland’s stock route network and provide feedback via an online survey.

To get involved and provide your feedback on the discussion paper, visit haveyoursay.resources.qld.gov.au/stock-routes

For more information on the Queensland stock route network visit www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/access/stock-routes

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