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Talking and listening to landholders critical in Defence land acquisition process

5 December 2016

Proper and thorough engagement with the landholders and community potentially affected by the Department of Defence acquisition of farm land in Queensland is critical to provide fairness to locals and transparency to the process,” the National Farmers’ Federation President, Fiona Simson said today.

Concerns have been raised by landholders and AgForce Queensland that the proposed Defence buy-up could possibly involve compulsory acquisition of productive agricultural land.

“I feel for the landholders and producers in this area. The Department of Defence’s process must recognise and appreciate how the landholders feel about their country and what matters to them in any acquisition process,” Ms Simson said.

“Clearly the people and communities in the region have many questions and a great deal of uncertainty about the fate of their land, some held in the same family for generations.

"There might be legal rights to recover someone's farm, but to think the government can waltz in and take farm land is simply not something the community is comfortable with. This is one of those situations that would not pass the pub test so far.

"People nowadays do expect governments to do more than the law prescribes. They expect people to come and talk and listen to them, hear them out and work with them to find good practical solutions.

“NFF supports AgForce in taking up the interests of farmers by talking with landholders and helping provide them to make informed decisions. Farmers need to know they have people on their side prepared to lend a hand.

“This situation is yet another example that highlights the need for proper, thorough and timely engagement with people and communities regardless of the type of land acquisition or land use in question.”

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