Protection of Agricultural Land (PAL)
Policy Review Comment
Deputy Mayor - Meander Valley Council
The Reviewed PAL Draft Policy is now even worse than it was before, and is loaded with unacceptable implementation draft guidelines. It will continue to achieve the opposite to that of its stated PURPOSE. Indeed, it is designed to deceptively force councils and communities into accepting ongoing production loss, and unsustainable land use associated with MIS plantation forestry. MIS plantation forestry causes many ongoing community losses and impacts. Some of those impacts include loss of local land ownership, economic viability, social decline, water loss and contamination, air pollution, stress and health etc. For some years people have expressed serious concerns, now those concerns are obvious and widespread among the general public.
Instead of ensuring sustainability and productivity, the revised PAL Policy Draft facilitates the continued destruction of hundreds more highly productive farms by turning them into MIS forestry plantations. Farms that have been sustainably, productively and viably farmed, often from generation to generation for over 100 years will continue to be lost and destroyed under this policy. Accurate information is hard to obtain but the best I can find is that over 1800 titles or about 20% of our good farmland in the medium to higher rainfall areas has already gone to MIS corporations and currant political mismanagement ensures the destruction of farms is set to accelerate.
Farms are to be sacrificed under this PAL Policy; farms that have raised families and underpinned the local economy for generations. The PAL Policy Draft supports the conversion of agricultural farmland to unproductive unsustainable, non-agricultural, secretive, MIS plantation forestry use. The PAL Policy supports the closure of farms by MIS plantation forestry corporations, and the loss of jobs and economic viability farms generate in our communities.
Our fathers went to war to protect and secure our land and our freedom. We have failed them. The Federal Government has betrayed our forefathers and our trust by encouraging 100% tax exempt so-called “investments” that are given to MIS plantation forestry corporations who make huge profits which they use to acquire farms for themselves. The high profitability generated by the tax free “investments” allows them to outbid genuine farmers for land. Due to their unfair advantage (farmers do not have access to that tax free investment money) MIS plantation forestry corporations can buy and close down almost every farm that is available for purchase.
Farms destroyed, people gone, houses removed or left derelict, community critical mass and economy disappears, resulting in huge permanent losses to our state and nation.
The prolific growth of taxpayer subsidised MIS plantation forestry is a national disaster. There is no policy or event since white settlement in Tasmania that has caused such destruction to our agricultural industry than MIS plantation forestry.
MIS plantation forestry is in total conflict with, and is a denial of, the stated PURPOSE of the PAL Policy. In fact it makes a mockery of both the PAL Policy Draft and the Councils that try to administer it. It is like a person fanatically protecting a hair on their head while ignoring the fact that their legs are being sawn off. The stated PURPOSE of the PAL Policy is to protect productivity and sustainability. Both productivity and sustainability are being destroyed as our good farms and farmland is converted to non-agricultural, MIS plantation forestry use.
The PAL Draft Policy encourages ongoing and unlimited hectares of precious agricultural land and farms to be removed from agricultural production and converted to unsustainable, non-agricultural, MIS plantation forestry.
The PAL Draft Policy is little more than a hoax or a sick joke. It pretends to protect agricultural land while facilitating its demise. It supports large-scale conversion of farmland to non-agricultural, unsustainable, productivity-destroying MIS forestry plantation use, resulting in fettering and fragmentation across all classes of agricultural land. Indeed it should be called the PAL (Plantation Allocated Land) Policy.
The PAL Draft Policy is hypercritical. It deceptively supports and facilitates non-agricultural, unsustainable MIS plantation forestry which is destroying our farms, communities, agricultural production and economy. It is now more destructive to our collective economic, social, sustainable and environmental viability than it was before the review.
Bob Loone
Deputy Mayor
Meander Valley Council
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