The Sate Government has moved today to give local Councils greater autonomy to manage the stock routes in their region.
The Stock Route Network Management Bill 2016 has been passed which the Government says will improve the historic network’s management and ensure it had a sustainable future.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham says Councils will be able to manage local stock routes and collect the funds graziers already pay to use them.
“Under proposed changes, graziers will pay councils for their grazing permits, not the State Government as they do now. Councils will then be able to use those funds to manage stock routes and invest in improved pest and weed control, protect the environment and reduce fire risks.”
The Minister says he believes Councils are best placed to manage stock routes and will be able to issue approvals and make informed management decisions based on their local knowledge under the changes.
“The Government will support councils by continuing to oversee decisions made about the use and management of the stock route network; set the fees for stock to travel on the stock route network and provide training and support for local governments.”
Queensland’s stock route network covers 2.6 million hectares. For more than 150 years it has provided short-term feed for travelling stock in drought times.
Under the changes, the State Government still identify areas of natural or cultural significance to minimize the impact of stock in certain areas. Councils will have the opportunity to do the same.