YESTERDAY’S Queensland Budget ensures agriculture will be mercilessly flogged in the name of environmental protection with the provision of 28 new inspectors between Sarina and Mossman in the far north.
That equates to one new environmental inspector for every 30km of coastline — so farmers can expect special attention as the incumbents make their presence felt.
According to Environment Minister Steven Miles, the Budget commits close to $275 million over five years.
“To ensure strong environmental standards in Queensland, the Budget has delivered increased funding for enforcement activities — $23.3 million over four years and $5 million ongoing.
“Priorities for the record funding for the environment include climate change, protecting the Great Barrier Reef, and enforcing stronger environmental standards,” he said.
“This funding will enhance the delivery of environmental regulatory services to protect our environment,” Mr Miles said.
“The environmental regulator will target areas of environmental risk and improve engagement with industry and the community.
“To protect the Great Barrier Reef and improve water quality, the Queensland Government has committed $175 million ($35 million per year) over five years from 2017-18.
“This is in addition to the $100 million provided over five years from 2015-16 to address the recommendations arising from the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce.
“We need cleaner water for a healthy reef, and our ongoing commitment will help achieve water quality targets through effective programs such as best practice management.”
“The Budget also includes $1.4 million for the management of historical fire-fighting foam pollution and $2.7 million to improve rehabilitation standards of mined land across Queensland.”