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Farmer plants 'prize' on bligh

MESSAGE FOR ANNA: Taroom farmer Owen Becker made his owns tratement on the land clearning legislation by giving the Premier a not so subtle message - first prize for stupidity on a Brigalow plant at the Taroom show.
MESSAGE FOR ANNA: Taroom farmer Owen Becker made his owns tratement on the land clearning legislation by giving the Premier a not so subtle message - first prize for stupidity on a Brigalow plant at the Taroom show.

OWEN Becker wasn't a judge for the plant section at the Taroom Show but he gave his own award to Premier Anna Bligh.

The Taroom farmer put in a Brigalow scrub plant in the plants section, with a blistering citation directed towards the state's first female boss.

It read: “Best Brigalow Re-growth: 1st prize for stupidity Anna Bligh” with the mock contest ending with the naming of Mr Becker as judge.

It was his own small battle against the much-criticised State Government moratorium on the clearing of regrowth vegetation.

“It's irresponsible and short-sighted,” Mr Becker said of the moratorium.

“In 20 years they will be making people clear country as everyone will be walling off and going broke.

He said the Brigalow strip under attack from the moratorium was some of the highest beef producing areas in the state.

“You don't fatten many bullocks in a rainforest,” the Taroom farmer said.

Mr Becker, who attended a meeting on the issue in Theodore, said the bogus award came from his desire to do something in the fight, and the show seemed a good place.

“Things aren't good in the bush,” Mr Becker said.

The meeting he attended was behind the groundswell that saw the creation of an alliance of land managers, industry leaders and agribusiness representatives, known as Life Source, as reported in last week's Central Telegraph.

Life Source founder, Theodore farmer Peter Mahony, vowed to take its message into the wider public arena this week during Beef Australia in Rockhampton, along with a call to arms for farmers.

“There has been a climate of fear and uncertainty hanging over agriculture that is quickly turning to one of grim determination to throw all we have into this battle,” Mr Mahony said.

“Over the last few weeks I have seen a momentum building that has been long absent from agriculture and a unity of purpose that has been non-existent in the past.

“As responsible land managers who for years have worked to preserve the ecology and biodiversity of our land, we cannot sit back and watch populist and poor public policy erode our hard work and basic rights.”

He said it was imperative that producers supported the initiatives of lobby groups and movements such as Life Source.


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