FOR Dirranbandi producers Kate and Richard Bucknell vegetation management is all about having the tools at hand to manage a long disturbed landscape.
The Bucknell’s, who run the 8000 hectare property Calooma at Dirranbandi as well as 4000ha in the Walgett Shire and 6500ha in the Brewarrina Shire, say it is a constant battle to maintain an appropriate balance with ever increasing, and thickening tree populations.
“In its natural state this was always lightly timbered country,” Mr Bucknell said.
“But with the introduction of agriculture and the removal of fire from the system, it’s long been a disturbed landscape.
“Species like sandlewood, mulga, coolabah, box, and pine have invaded this country meaning that it all has to be managed if we are going to maintain both a healthy environment and a productive agricultural enterprise.
“It’s no good just locking it up.
“That serves no purpose because it creates monocultures of invasive species which need managing before they get a real hold on and not having to wait for a trigger, which is past the point of no return.
“Without the ability to manage the landscape the biodiversity is killed off as is the ability to operate a pastoral business.”
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Mr Bucknell encouraged Queensland’s policy makers to study NSW’s vegetation laws.
“Across the border the impact of invasive native species are recognised as a real problem and the NSW laws enable producers to deal with that problem,” he said.
“It’s all about balance. In Queensland we need real, workable solutions that reflect the environmental issues we are trying to manage.
“What we don’t need are laws that prevent landholders from being good environmental stewards.
“We have a real passion for what we do here. If we didn’t we would have left the industry long ago.”