Farmers for our future: Queensland farmers need our help in a compulsory land grab by the Department of Defence and the Singaporean Army. Up to 60 landholders — some fourth generation farmers — in north Queensland’s Charters Towers and Marlborough areas could have prime grazing land taken from them to be used for a military playground.
Agriculture is the backbone of the Australian economy forecast to be worth a record $60 billion in 2016-2017. And with the United Nations predicting that we need to increase food production by 60-70% by 2050 to feed our growing global population, the acquisition of up to 300,000 hectares of ripper farming land defies belief.
This area is known as the Beef Capital of Australia and will result in the loss of approximately 70,000 head of beef cattle. It also affects large-scale commercial fishing operations in the Stanage Bay area.
This land grab affects food production, farming families, and the wider community. Not just those that work in agriculture doing a beaut job for us all — but the families, schools, organisations and businesses whose prosperity depends on the success of the local ag industry. And although those farms affected will receive some sort of compensation, local business owners won’t receive a thing.
Can’t get your head around how much land will be taken? An international rugby field is about 1 hectare in size. The MCG oval is just over 1.5 hectares. The compulsory acquisition is for 300,000 hectares. That’s a lot of land, mate.
How can you help? A rough timeline has been provided to the affected farming families indicating that a master plan will be delivered in February followed by confirmation from the Australian Defence Force with regards to which properties will stay and which will go.