Queensland’s new land clearing bill will help turn the tide, despite its flaws

20 Mar 2018

Queensland’s Labor government this month tabled a bill to tighten the regulation of land clearing. Queensland is by far the worst offender in this area, following a litany of reversalsof vegetation protection.

After a period of tightened laws between 2004 and 2013, the Newman government set about unwinding key reforms during its 2012-15 term.

Following these changes, land-clearing rates quadrupled to almost 400,000 hectares per year, to the dismay of conservationists, with rising concern about the impacts on wild animal welfare and wider ecological impacts.

The state’s Labor government, which retained power at the November 2017 election, made an election promise to tighten vegetation management laws. However, the bill is likely to be fiercely debated after the parliamentary committee tables its report next month.

Although the bill promises a steep reduction in land clearing, albeit without any firm target, there is likely to be a significant gap between what the government has promised and what its legislation may deliver in reality.

To explain why, let’s look in more detail at what the proposed legislation does, as well as what it doesn’t do.

This article appeared on the Conservation on 16 March 2018. Its co-authors include Anita Cosgrove, Dr April Reside, Professor James Watson and Associate Professor Martine Maron.

Read the full article.

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