Tackling rampant land clearing
More than one million hectares of native bush and forest has been cleared in Queensland over the last four years. Land clearing in Queensland is now on par with Brazil.
The Greens will strongly support restoring Queensland’s world-class protections for native forests and vegetation. We have called for strong protections for Queensland’s precious native bush for decades.
The Greens also support emergency measures to protect all native wildlife and ecosystems from coal and gas mining, property development and other threats.
We support measures to protect nature including:
- Restore Queensland’s world-class protections for native forests and vegetation
- Stop the Adani mine which will clear 28,000 soccer fields of native vegetation
- Strengthen laws pertaining to urban development and land clearing to protect habitat and wildlife in growth areas of the State
- Prohibit tree clearing in all sensitive Queensland habitat areas
- Permanently protect remnant and high conservation value and old growth woodlands and trees, including via purchase of high conservation value areas
- Ensure strong monitoring, enforcement and resourcing of tree clearing laws
- Improve vegetation mapping and halt exemptions via property maps
- Commit to regular public full reporting of clearing data and impacts
Labor’s delay and failure on land clearing
Campbell Newman’s destruction of our strong protections against land clearing sparked an environmental catastrophe in Queensland. After Labor was elected in January 2015 they had a strong mandate and an opportunity to bring back those protections.
Instead, Labor delayed for more than a year, giving responsibility for this vital issue to conservative Labor ministers like Anthony Lynham and Bill Byrne. That shocking delay caused a massive spike in “panic clearing”.
Labor sat on their hands for months, despite their clear commitment to change the laws.
Land clearing from coal and fracking
As well as restoring our land clearing laws, we must protect nature from destruction caused by coal mining, gas fracking and runaway property development.
Labor’s Adani mine is set to clear over 20,000 hectares of native bushland including endangered Brigalow woodlands. This mine could push the endangered black throated finch towards extinction.
Fracking for unconventional gas including coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas destroys huge swathes of native bush. Gas wells are widely dispersed and require huge and intrusive infrastructure to maintain.
The Greens support a ban on new coal mines and coal mine expansions, and a ban on fracking.
Protecting koalas and other native wildlife
Almost none of the 20% of Australia's remaining eucalypt forest is protected. Most of this is on private land and this is where most of our koalas survive. The biggest populations of koalas are in Queensland’s south-east corner and uncontrolled development is threatening their habitat. The Queensland Greens would strengthen laws pertaining to urban development and land clearing to protect habitat and wildlife in growth areas of the State. We would prohibit tree clearing in all sensitive Queensland habitat areas and permanently protect remnant and high conservation value and old growth woodlands and trees.
The Queensland Greens’ Planning for People policy calls for stronger community objection rights to major developments in the Planning and Environment Court, including fair costs rules as well as funding for the Environment Defenders’ Office.
The Queensland Greens would establish special new protected areas for iconic or ‘keystone’ species like koalas, wallabies, wombats or cassowaries. These special protected areas would serve as important refugia and hotspots for regeneration. We would fund the purchase of these areas out of our previously announced plans to make sure mining companies and property developers pay their fair share.
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef
Global warming is the number one threat to the Great Barrier Reef, ahead of water pollution, sediment and overfishing. The Queensland Greens supporting fully funding and implementing the recommendations of the Queensland government’s Water Science Task Force.
We need urgent action to stop water pollution, runaway tree clearing, overfishing and poisonous pesticide runoff. This will include catchment-specific targets for runoff and minimum standards for agricultural, construction and other activity within Reef catchments. These regulations would ramp up over time. The Greens would boost funding to help farmers tackle water pollution, funded via our previously announced plans to make sure mining companies and property developers pay their fair share.
We would also fully implement the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027. This would include create ‘Net Free Far North Queensland’ to protect turtles and dugongs.
A huge part of our plan for the Reef is restoring ecosystems and natural systems like riverine gillies and wetlands. The Greens would fully fund the recommendations of the Water Science Task Force and other government advisory bodies in relation to land restoration. These areas would also serve as carbon stores.
We would also fully implement the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027. This would include creating a ‘Net Free Far North Queensland’ protected area to protect turtles and dugongs.
Funding Indigenous Rangers
The Queensland Greens would employ an additional 150 Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers (full-time equivalent). This program has been an amazing success for conservation and indigenous community development. This would bring the total number of Queensland Indigenous land and sea rangers to 250. We would fund these plans out of our previously announced plans to make sure mining companies and property developers pay their fair share.
Tackling dangerous global warming
The Queensland Greens’ plan for 100% clean energy which is 100% public- or community-owned by 2030. Our Power for People Plan would invest $15 billion over the next 5 years, and would provide adequate assistance for workers and communities affected by this transition.
We have a plan for Queensland to play its part in aiming to keep dangerous global warming within 1.5 degrees, including a Queensland-specific pollution reduction target of zero pollution by 2050.