Law Reform ·

Land clearing and party promises

08 November, 2017

Queensland urgently needs strong laws on excessive tree clearing for wildlife, the Reef and to reduce climate change – what are the parties promising in the lead-up to the state election later this month?

EDO Qld asks all political parties to commit to strengthening laws to better regulate excessive tree clearing, and further improvements to the protections of wildlife and habitat. 

See EDO Qld’s policy requests sent to all political parties here*.  

Excessive tree clearing rates are one of the most significant environmental threats to Queensland’s wildlife, our Great Barrier Reef and other marine catchments, our precious ecosystems and to our climate. 

Clearing in the state of Queensland alone has been found to be on par with the rates of clearing in Brazil.1 The recent SLATS reportconfirms that clearing rates, including of remnant vegetation, are only increasing under the current weak tree clearing laws introduced by the previous government.   

Recent reports by WWF have estimated that we are losing upwards of 40 million animals every year due to poor regulation of tree clearing. We need serious action taken to strengthen our laws regulating clearing urgently. 

Not only do we need our tree clearing laws reinstated to what they were prior to the cuts of the previous government; we need significant improvements to the requirements around the assessment and conditioning of clearing to reduce impacts to wildlife, and an offsets framework that is scientifically founded and actually effective. We need accurate mapping and strong protection of critical habitat across Queensland, a requirement that fauna surveys are undertaken and that qualified spotter catchers are engaged for clearing of any habitat, including in urban areas.

So, what have the parties said they will do so far to better regulate tree clearing?

 1.        Reside April E., Beher Jutta, Cosgrove Anita J., Evans Megan C., Seabrook Leonie, Silcock Jennifer L., Wenger Amelia S., Maron Martine (2017) Ecological consequences of land clearing and policy reform in Queensland. Pacific Conservation Biology 23, 219-230.


* EDO Qld promotes changes to law and policy which protect the environment and advance sustainable development. EDO Qld does not support, promote or oppose any particular political party or candidate. EDO Qld respects the democratic right of all citizens to run for elected office in their own time. 

Authorised by Jo Bragg, CEO of Environmental Defenders Office (Qld) Inc, 8/205 Montague Rd, West End, QLD 4101.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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