Stephen Andrew, MP for Mirani, has prepared the following environment questions for estimates at the Queensland Parliament:
1. In regard to new regulations administered by the Minister’s department requiring cane farmers and other farmers to carry out agricultural ERAs, will the Minister advise: (a) when the regulation commenced; (b) the maximum penalties that apply to offences against the regulation; (c) when farmers and other landholders were advised by the department of their new obligations under the regulation and how they were informed; (d) the period farmers now have in which to enact nitrogen and phosphorous budgets to fully comply with the regulation; (e) the number of agricultural advisors in Queensland who are registered with the QRIDA and who can prepare nutrient management budgets with soil tests and crop growth requirements to enable farmers to meet their obligations under the regulation; and (f) what steps the department is taking to assist those farmers who are unable to access an advisor registered with the QRIDA to have the required nitrogen and phosphorous budgets prepared within the time available for them to comply?
2. Given the value of the Great Barrier Reef to the Queensland economy and claims made by organisations such as the GBRMPA about risks to the reef posed by farm pesticides, will the Minister advise what funding is provided in the budget for her Office of Science to undertake research to gauge the presence of pesticides in flora and fauna on the reef, and the adverse impacts of these pesticides?

HOLD on to your sunnies, radical green bureaucrats, backed by both major parties are planning a major take-down of tourism and recreational fishers in regional communities. And it doesn’t stop there. Both the Federal LNP government and State Labor government were laying the groundwork for restrictive new laws and regulations across a range of new groups, including Queensland’s $4.6 billion tourism industry.

According to the draft review of reef sustainability, regional Queenslanders and industries are in for a period of ‘potentially major and uncertain changes’. First, they came for our farmers and most people said nothing. Then they came for our miners and most people said nothing. Now it looks like anyone living outside the south-east corner is in for a hiding and we’re not hearing anything about it.

The new draft “Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan Review”, released last month, introduces a ‘sector-wide’ program of change that sets out new objectives aimed at  “protecting the Great Barrier Reef”. Any regional Queenslander who wants a job or any kind of lifestyle in the future needs to read the draft review.

According to some of the detail of this document, green bureaucrats are planning a fairly radical transformation of regional towns and communities over the next couple of decades. The main areas of human activity targeted under the new plan include:

  • Recreational fishing
  • Commercial fishing
  • Tourism – both land-based and water-based
  • Indigenous groups
  • Research activities
  • Urban townships
  • Coastal housing and infrastructure
  • Beach uses
  • Agriculture
  • Industrial activities
  • Shipping and ports
  • Recreational users of the reef, including tourists

The new plan, which calls for a further ‘ramping up’ of existing Reef Laws on farmers and commercial fishing, also proposes an extension of restrictions across a whole range of other ‘human-based activities’ – both recreational and commercial. The draft, which is just the first of a series of five-year plans to be released between now and 2050, will have an enormous negative impact on communities and businesses in the region, particularly those that heavily rely on reef tourism, or tourism-related businesses, to earn a living.

Proposals outlined in the draft paper will intensify the drive to lock up more and more areas of bushland in Central and North Queensland. This will greatly reduce people’s access to, and enjoyment of our beautiful natural hinterland. Today, more than 682,772 hectares of land have been given up by private landholders to the State government under its Nature Refuge Agreements Scheme. This land has been re-designated as “protected zones” and closed off permanently from the public.

The draft review calls for stricter laws around coastal infrastructure, planning, development and land use, as well as suggestions for measures that will  ‘induce behaviour change’ within regional communities. Groups singled out in the new Reef Plan, include business, tourism, industry, mining, farmers, Indigenous communities, commercial and recreational fishers, private homeowners, as well as commercial and recreational boat operators.

They are planning to restrict recreational fishing as well as 4-wheel driving on beaches. The plan proposes a new 4-wheel drive permit system, strict speed limits, and restricted beach access points. These bureaucrats are making decisions and laying down edicts that undermine people’s lives and livelihoods. There has been no transparency from either of the major parties around some of these changes.  Some of the changes here are pretty radical, and yet there has been almost no widespread public discussion or debate around the likely costs or consequences to the community of all this.

I’m calling on all Queenslanders to have their say on the Draft Plan before public consultation closes at the end of this month.


read the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan Public Consultation Draft

Submit your feedback by 11.59pm AEST Wednesday 30 September 2020.


The Isaac Regional Council is taking final submissions on its new planning scheme (submissions close on 20 July 2020). As the State Member for Mirani, I am making the below submission and I publish it here so you can see what my feedback on the scheme and, if you wish, you can copy and paste (make any edits you wish) and make a submission yourself. They just need to be emailed to by 5pm on Monday, 20 July 2020.

Office of the Mayor

Isaac Regional Council

PO Box 94



Dear Cr Baker,




What is being proposed by the Council amounts to little more than a policy of “planned retreat” that will ultimately see the relocation of human habitation out of coastal, rural and forest areas and into sustainable, affordable, communal, urban ‘live where you work’ hubs that virtually every Environmental Minister since 1990 has advocated and legislated for in this State.

No shacks on the beach, no sole occupancy detached dwellings, no family homes, no backyards, no pets and definitely no living in the hills or bush or by a stream in your old age.  Just communal living in low rise unit developments everywhere, with as small a ‘human footprint’ as they can get away with forcing on us.

The proposed changes to Planning contained in the new scheme are part and parcel of an ongoing program of transformative and radical change through the use of stealth and incrementalism.  A program that is being carried out in Australia at a Federal, State and Local level.  It relies on the strategic presumption that small changes brought in gradually will not provoke community protest action or media attention until it is too late.

The introduction of four new hazard zone mapping overlays for coast, fire, dust and flood will have a devastating impact on the Isaac Region’s economy and its capacity for future growth.  For landholders, the adverse impacts will be many, ranging from growing restrictions on access and uses of land in the region, to other issues around insurance and legal liability, increased costs and an overall reduction in property and resale value.

These mapping overlays have been shown to be excessively broad in their zoning designations and through Public consultation meetings at Clairview, Stephen Andrew State Member for Mirani was informed by the presenting Cardno Engineers the mapping overlays were in error by 48% (They were only half right).

The Member also requested information at that meeting, concerning what an increased compliment of renewables/reduction of current emissions would have on the predictive water rises and was afforded no answers..

So renewable implementation has not been taken into consideration, why not?  Greenhous Gas emissions are supposed to be central to Climate Change temperatures and therefore directly related to Sea Level Rise predictions, which suggests these predictions are built on fiction, not hard facts.

Under these overlays, and Government’s propensity for expanding their boundaries, almost every property in the Region will ultimately be at risk of inclusion in the new Hazard zones.  This means every resident of the Isaac Region should be concerned with the direction this scheme is going in.  At this rate, we are going to see a complete lockdown of the bush and coast, with many areas highly regulated and taxed, and others completely restricted and off limits.

The new Scheme is neither proportionate or democratic in response to the various inflated ‘climate change’ risk assessments contained in the mapping overlays.

In fact, the erosion of Farmers’ Property Rights as a result of the State’s Vegetation Management laws will look like ‘child’s play’ compared to what will happen should these draconian changes be passed.

Common law ‘property rights’ as we and our forefathers understood them will be rendered meaningless.  At this rate, owning a property will become so loaded down with restrictions and additional costs that there will be no incentive or reason to own property anymore.

The whole idea of a democracy is that you elect representatives who will follow the public’s lead on what is right for the country and their region, but this isn’t what we’re seeing in Queensland anymore.  In the case of this new Planning Scheme, the people of Isaac Region are no longer telling their public officials what they want or need done, they are being told  what their public officials want done and how.  All to further a collectivist Green Agenda, bent on revolutionising land access, use and management in Queensland, whether Queenslanders like it or not.

I ask that the Council scrap the proposed changes to the Isaac Regional Council Planning laws for the good of the community and the State.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Stephen Andrew

Member for Mirani