Palaszczuk Government delivers on vegetation management

16 May 2018

Queensland Government: The Palaszczuk Government has delivered on a major election commitment, after landmark vegetation management laws were passed in Parliament today.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government’s reforms were based on science and were pivotal to protecting the state’s precious resources, including the Great Barrier Reef, for future generations.

“Today marks the delivery of our promise to tackle unsustainable clearing for all Queenslanders,” Dr Lynham said.

“This is balanced, measured and responsible legislation.

“High-value regrowth vegetation that has not been cleared for 15 years, and is part of an ‘endangered’ or at risk regional ecosystem vegetation, will now be protected.

“This reform, combined with better mapping and support for landholders, will result in the protection of 862,506 hectares of high value regrowth vegetation.”

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said through these laws, the Palaszczuk Government had delivered a fantastic outcome for our state’s environment.

“These laws will ensure our valuable environment, habitats and the Great Barrier Reef will be protected,” Ms Enoch said.

“Nearly half, or 405,000 hectares of vegetation, now protected under our laws are in catchments that flow in to the Great Barrier Reef, and this will ensure our reef is protected along with the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it.

“Reducing land clearing was a commitment in the Reef 2050 Sustainability Plan.

“Both the State Government and the Turnbull Government committed to this plan and it’s what has stopped UNESCO putting the reef on the ‘in danger’ list.

“These laws will also ensure we meet our global commitments to reduce our carbon emissions, including a transition to zero net emissions by 2050.”

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government had to act now to stop broadscale land clearing before it was too late.

“Scientific evidence shows that when the former LNP Government scrapped our land clearing laws, the annual rate of vegetation clearing almost quadrupled,” she said.

“Clearing in Queensland reached a rate of 1000 football fields being cleared every day and I’m pleased the Palaszczuk Government has now put an end to this.”

Dr Lynham said passing sustainable vegetation management laws has been a long journey.

“Extensive consultation over several years has been undertaken to ensure the balance is right, including consideration of 13,000 submissions to the Parliamentary Committee.

“We have listened to feedback and worked hard to ensure we get the balance right.

“Landholders will still be able to conduct necessary clearing for farm operations such as clearing to harvest fodder to feed stock, establish property infrastructure, control weeds, and disaster management or recovery.

“We will continue with the review of all codes in partnership with key stakeholders, CSIRO and the Queensland Herbarium, to ensure farmers can get on with their day- to-day business and still meet their obligations under the new laws. “The government has agreed in-principle to all recommendations of the Committee as part of the implementation. We will now continue to ensure landholders get the support they need to meet their obligations and develop their farm enterprises,” Dr Lynham said.

Key changes to Queensland’s vegetation management laws include:

Dr Lynham said new vegetation maps, which reflect the best available science, are in place as part of the new laws.

 

--ENDS--

 

Source:   Queensland Government - www.statements.qld.gov.au

Contact: Media contact: Minister Lynham David Potter 0428 411 617  Minister Enoch Pam Frost       0437 859 987

External Links:  www.dnrme.qld.gov.au

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