In radical but revealing comments published today, influential green group the Australian Conservation Foundation said:

“To improve economic ­opportunity in remote Australia we have to start thinking outside the marginal and unimaginative industries of last century — big cattle, big agriculture and big mining — which are in fact the greatest threat to the area’s prosperity.’’

(“Federal Government puts a hold on Queensland land clearing laws”, The Australian, August 11, 2016)

‘It is simply astounding for green groups like the ACF to demonise farmers and miners as a threat to jobs and prosperity,’ said Daniel Wild, Research Fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs. ‘It’s clear that they are using environmental conservation as a foil for shutting down Australia’s primary industries.’

‘A recent Productivity Commission draft report into regulation of agriculture highlighted the breathtaking array of complex red tape our farmers are burdened with every day. Much of this red tape is pushed by green groups not with the intention of protecting the environment, but to shut down productive industries.’

The agriculture sector employs some 350,000 people across the country. Many of these jobs will be under threat should this assault by the Australian Conservation Foundation and other green groups continue.

‘For decades green groups have been influential in forcing burdensome red tape upon the coal industry. They are now moving on to agriculture. It is anyone’s guess who they will take aim at next.’

‘Government’s should support our primary producers and farmers against malicious red tape sponsored by anti-development green groups,’ said Mr Wild.