TRANSPORT CHALLENGES: Flagstone Creek grazier Bruce Greer would like to see the tick line reviewd.
TRANSPORT CHALLENGES: Flagstone Creek grazier Bruce Greer would like to see the tick line reviewd. ALI KUCHEL

Cattle tick line causes confusion for graziers

IT HAS been two years since the Queensland cattle tick line framework was re-evaluated and several graziers are looking to voice their concerns about the changes.

Flagstone Creek grazier Bruce Greer runs 100 brangus, but also runs his cattle at a second property in Millmerran across the "line” in the tick-free region.

It means sending his cattle through the dip just to transfer between his two properties - even if inspected and with no ticks.

For Mr Greer, it's a taxing job, and a process he would like made clearer by the government.

"I'm doing it how I was 20 years ago, I've never been pulled up and checked in my life,” he said.

"(But) if they don't find a tick on your cattle, they still have to be dipped, and it's not cheap either.”

In 2016, the Agricultural and Fisheries Minister at the time, Leanne Donaldson, announced a "simplified and stronger” cattle tick management framework.

It was designed to have two zones - a tick free along with a tick infested area, strengthened by removing the control zone and aligning the line with stronger double-fenced boundaries. The change in the tick line location stemmed from discussions with producers, delegations from industry and guidance from the department.

It was also advised there would be an opportunity to review the tick once the department saw how it "impacted producers.”

But two years on, graziers and affected communities are wanting to have the opportunity to say what changes had worked - and what had not.

Opposition minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Forestry Tony Perrett slammed the government for failing to keep its promise to graziers affected by the tick line change, and called for action.

"Changing the tick line dramatically changes livestock management practices on properties, pushing labour and chemical costs sky-high,” he said.

The chance for graziers to have their say is coming, with a roadshow partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Agforce planned for late August, with dates yet to be confirmed.

Bruce Greer, Flagstone Creek, with his dogs Ruby and Sasha.
Bruce Greer, Flagstone Creek, with his dogs Ruby and Sasha. ALI KUCHEL

MP calls for cattle tick line to be reviewed

WHILE graziers will be waiting on confirmed dates for the Department of Agriculture AgForce road show, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington is getting behind farmers, calling for a review of the Queensland cattle tick line.

Ms Frecklington, whose Nanango electorate is bisected by the tick line, believed the issue was low on the government's agenda, and said there was no sign of any reviews.

She said when the tick line was moved in June 2016, primary producers were promised to be given an opportunity in June 2018, to comment on the changes and request reviews for their properties and districts.

"There is no sign of a review and there is no information available to landholders who wish to implement change,” Ms Frecklington said.

At the time of the tick line adjustments, she wrote to the Minister requesting information on protocols and processes for initiating change.

"Those who had been disappointed with the new positioning of the line in 2016 were keen to start work on the re-positioning of the line,” she said.

A Biosecurity Queensland spokesperson said the department would begin gathering information from relevant producers throughout the DAF-Agforce roadshow, planned for late August, with the eventual aim of conducting a fact- based review of the tick line.

But the spokesperson said producers who had completed the second season of cattle tick eradication programs and wanted their properties removed from the restricted place register should apply to the department.


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