UNDER FIRE: MPs are calling for an independent reef body
UNDER FIRE: MPs are calling for an independent reef body Darren Jew/Tourism Tropical Nort

Bundy's MPs slam State Government's reef rules

THE Bundaberg region's MPs have hit out at the Queensland Government's controversial Reef Regulation Laws with calls for an independent reef body to be created to ensure the science is valid.

Mayor Jack Dempsey has also written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urging her to delay the implementation of the laws until a thorough independent audit of science had been conducted.

The calls come as controversial scientist Dr Peter Ridd last night addressed about 300 people at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, where he kicked off his speaking tour to raise concerns about the validity of the science used for the government's laws.

Dr Ridd's tour has been supported by Bundaberg Canegrowers, whose chief executive officer Dale Holliss told The Australian the government was assuming "we are as dumb as dogs" and "we are farming like grandad used to with horses".

Mr Holliss said the laws hadn't been properly thought through.

"A lot of this comes back to people in Southeast Queensland trying to shore up votes and selling the bush out," Mr Holliss says.

Local politicians Stephen Bennett, David Batt and Keith Pitt all joined Mr Holliss in hitting out at the government.

Mr Bennett, the member for Burnett, is pushing for an independent reef body to be created to test data before legislation is introduced.

"It is just about green preferences for this mob," he said.

"I would have thought that, after the federal election, they would have at least come back to review what they were doing but there has been none of that.

"No one trusts politicians now but what hope do we have when we get involved in this sort of bastardry?

"It's going to cause angst, it's going to send people broke, it's going to cause huge problems - but it's not going to do one thing to preserve the Great Barrier Reef."

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the State Government needed to think about the livelihoods of regional Queenslanders.

"The southern end of the Great Barrier Reef is in fantastic condition and I'm sick of Labor talking the reef down," he said.

"It's a major tourist destination and we just don't need the negativity."

Member for Bundaberg David Batt said farmers were already suffering enough.

"Our farmers are seriously suffering under Queensland Labor," he said.

"They're dealing with soaring electricity prices, decreased water security and extreme vegetation management laws, only to be hit again with these ridiculous reef regulations.

"No one wants to see the Great Barrier Reef come under threat, including our farmers, but these reef laws are excessive, unnecessary and don't guarantee any benefit to the reef."

Bundaberg Mayor Jack Demspey is urging the Premier to delay the implementation of the laws until a thorough independent audit of science has been conducted.

"As one of our region's largest employers, the sugar cane industry is a vital part of our economy," Mr Dempsey said.

"As such any legislative decisions based on unclear science and have the potential to impact our region, should not be rushed."



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