A re-elected Palaszczuk Government will end broadscale tree clearing as it continues to balance environmental protection, growing our agriculture sector and investing in a new land management industry.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Labor drove land clearing rates down to an all-time low in 2009, but clearing again reached unsustainable levels after the Newman-Nicholls Government gutted effective land clearing laws.
The Premier, with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Steven Miles, today launched the Labor Party’s policy, Saving Habitat, Protecting Wildlife and Restoring Land: Ending broadscale tree clearing in Queensland (again).
Speaking at the Daisy Hill Conservation Park today, the Premier said unsustainable land clearing was a threat to Queensland’s wildlife, the Great Barrier Reef and the climate.
“A re-elected Palaszczuk Government will reintroduce effective legislation and establish a $500 million Land Restoration Fund. This fund will kick start a new land management industry which promises to contribute as much as $8 billion annually to the Queensland economy by 2030,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Land Restoration Fund, like the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, rewards Queensland landholders and primary producers for reducing emissions.
“This policy is about sound environmental protection in the interest of all Queenslanders,’’ the Premier said.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said a re-elected Palaszczuk Government would drive down excessive clearing rates, support a sustainable and prosperous agricultural sector and spearhead new economic and environmental opportunities.
“We will support projects that sequester carbon, restore valuable habitat, repair riparian vegetation and improve water quality,’’ Ms Trad said.
“This is a clear plan for the future. Not like the short-sighted, self-interested actions of the Newman-Nicholls Government, which resulted in Queensland having the worst environmental record of any modern Australian Government.’’
Key planks to a re-elected Palaszczuk Government achieving its environmental targets include:
- Establishing a flagship $500 million Land Restoration Fund to directly support Queensland-based land sector carbon projects, creating new jobs and opportunities
- Introducing legislation to protect remnant and high conservation value non-remnant vegetation
- Continuing to provide flexibility to landholders through self-assessable codes, as long as they are providing appropriate protections based on advice from the Queensland Herbarium.
Mr Miles said new laws would protect our wildlife, climate and reef.
“We will ensure strong monitoring and resourcing for the enforcement of land clearing laws, drawing on our first term $7.8 million investment in high-resolution satellite imagery,’’ he said.
“Our vegetation laws have a solid foundation based on mapping and science – they are the envy of other States. A re-elected Palaszczuk Government would continue to update and improve the mapping to ensure effective and sustained vegetation management.’’
The Premier said the government had a clear goal of protecting the environment while supporting sustainable agriculture.
“One does not exclude the other,’’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Palaszczuk Government's approach to vegetation management has always been consistent with its 2015 election commitment to: “Reduce Queensland’s carbon emissions by re-instating the nation-leading vegetation protection laws repealed by the Newman Government. This will be done in consultation with the stakeholders and the community. However, we do not plan to remove existing self-assessable codes as long as they provide appropriate protection.”
“We need to seize this opportunity.