The new tree clearing and Vegetation Management Laws have passed in the Queensland Parliament despite opposition from the LNP, KAP and One Nation.
The State Government says the vote delivers on a major election commitment from Labor.
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham says the reforms mark the delivery of Labor’s promise to tackle “unsustainable clearing for all Queenslanders.”
“This is balanced, measured and responsible legislation based on science and are pivotal to protecting the state’s precious resources, including the Great Barrier Reef.”
“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 says through these laws, the Palaszczuk Government had delivered a fantastic outcome for our state’s environment.
“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.”
“These laws will also ensure we meet our global commitments to reduce our carbon emissions, including a transition to zero net emissions by 2050.”
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington says the laws are a disgrace.
“Labor’s vegetation management laws will devastate Queensland farmers and destroy desperately needed jobs in the bush.”
“This arrogant Labor government silenced the voice of our farmers and rural and regional Queensland tonight by ramming their contentious and damaging vegetation management laws through Parliament.”
“To deny Members of Parliament the opportunity to speak freely on these controversial laws underlines how little Labor cares for farmers. Annastacia Palaszczuk showed she couldn’t care less about Queensland farming families and rural communities.”
“All she cares about is sweeping up green preferences in inner-Brisbane electorates.”
Ms Frecklington says the laws lock up almost a million hectares of agricultural land while two-thirds of the state was still drought-declared and outback youth unemployment had risen to 59%.
Meantime AgForce says it’s committed to fighting on.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley says the Palaszczuk Government ignores at their peril the tsunami of support farmers are receiving from people of all walks of life from all over Queensland – city and country.
“Vegetation management has been divisive for two decades and the Palaszczuk Government had an opportunity to develop a long-lasting solution, but they squandered it and rammed through flawed laws that just guarantee the political ping pong will continue.”
“We’re not going to cop this. We’re going to keep fighting until we get fair and balanced laws that deliver good outcomes for agriculture and the environment without strangling farmers in red tape. “
“It’s pretty simple – if farmers can’t feed their own families, they can’t feed yours. We’re all in this together, we all eat food, we all wear clothes, and we all care for the environment.”