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Local councils will be able to manage their local stock routes and collect the funds graziers already pay to use them under legislation introduced into State Parliament today.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the Stock Route Network Management Bill 2016 would improve the historic network’s management and ensure it had a sustainable future.
“This legislation will give local councils greater autonomy to manage the stock routes in their region,” Dr Lynham said.
“Councils are best placed to manage stock routes and will be able to issue approvals and make informed management decisions based on their local knowledge.
“Under proposed changes, graziers will pay councils for their grazing permits, not the State Government as they do now.
“Councils will then be able to use those funds to manage stock routes and invest in improved pest and weed control, protect the environment and reduce fire risks.
“The Palaszczuk Government will support councils by continuing to oversee decisions made about the use and management of the stock route network; set the fees for stock to travel on the stock route network and provide training and support for local governments.”
Queensland's stock route network covers 2.6 million hectares. For more than 150 years it has provided short-term feed for travelling stock in drought times.
“The stock route network has been an integral part of Queensland’s rural history for and includes culturally significant areas that support biodiversity,” Dr Lynham said.
“The network is best known for its high pastoral productivity suitable for travelling stock and short term relief for local pastoralists during drought.
“The Palaszczuk Government will identify areas of natural or cultural significance to minimise the impact of stock in those areas. Local councils will have the opportunity to do the same.”
Dr Lynham said the Stock Route Bill would cover all aspects of stock routes, currently covered by three pieces of legislation.