Clearing law loss a disaster for the Reef, climate change and wildlife

Last night, the Queensland government failed to pass vital land-clearing reform legislation.

This is a disaster of Queensland’s making.

It’s a huge win for big agriculture and a terrible blow for our Reef, climate change and hundreds of Queensland’s vulnerable or endangered species.

The health of our Reef is directly linked to increased erosion that comes from the tree clearing. Queensland has now passed up the chance to take real steps to protect our Reef for Australians and visitors around the world who support a major tourism industry.

Clearing in Queensland has doubled since 2011 to almost 300,000 hectares a year, more than half of this in reef catchments.

The rejection of this legislation is at odds with $8.2 billion recently announced to restore erosion and fix water quality in catchments flowing to the Reef.  These reforms were essential for the Reef to stay off the UNESCO World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.

It’s tragic that, as a State, we aren’t doing a better job of protecting our state and its globally significant natural assets.

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More coverage: ‘Queensland land-clearing controls face defeat with former Labor MP voting no’, in The Guardian, and ‘Toughened tree clearing laws fail to pass Queensland Parliament in blow to minority Labor Government’, on ABC News.