Increased access rights given to TMR enter land raises serious biosecurity risks.
Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett, said that TMR has been given increased rights to access and temporarily occupy land adjacent to the land or road corridor, including private land.
The access rights are supposed to be for undertaking land management and environmental activities.
The changes were introduced in the Transport and Other Legislation (Road Safety, Technology and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.
The government guillotined the Bill and prevented me and a long list of LNP members from speaking on the changes.
These changes raise serious concerns about the biosecurity risk of vehicles and equipment entering properties.
Gympie property owners frequently raise with me their concerns about Government vehicles, and utility company vehicles, coming onto their properties and creating biosecurity risks.
Vehicles and equipment need to be thoroughly washed down to prevent the spread of invasive weeds.
They are also concerned about land management practices on TMR controlled land.
I wrote to the Minister about the spread of the invasive weed giant rat’s tail grass along the Bruce Highway in Gympie.
Several constituents contacted me in numerous emails, including photos, showing how extensive it is spreading on road corridors. *
It should not be left to grow to full seed which creates further issues on control methods.
The Minister should be well aware of it.
Road users can see GRT in full seed when travelling along the corridor from south of Gympie through the Sunshine Coast and further south.
I have taken a picture of it in full luxurious growth on the side of the road in Aspley in Brisbane.
The Minister told Parliament that the Biosecurity Act 2014 requires the department to take all reasonable steps to minimise biosecurity risks.
He said these risks include declared invasive weeds species such as fireweed which, if not controlled in a transport corridor, can spread rapidly to private land.
Saying and doing are two different actions.
The State Government, and that includes the TMR, should be a responsible landowner and lead by example.
Landowners on adjoining properties to State controlled land, including the road corridor, are seriously worried that the Government is not controlling the spread of GRT.
It should do everything possible to control and eradicate the infestation.
It should also prevent the spread by thoroughly washing down vehicles and equipment before entering private properties.
Landowners deserve better than a cavalier and relaxed approach to its responsibility.
It is troubling there’s little information to give landowners any confidence about the extended powers given to TMR.