Key points we suggest you could include in your submissions:
Who you or your group are, what are your objectives and any case examples about land clearing
Reasons why you care about protecting our vegetation – e.g. do you care about:
protecting koalas, or other threatened species of concern to you;
the impact of tree clearing on increasing drought in our already drought stricken state – it has now been proven that the more trees we have, the more rain we have;
the impact of tree clearing on climate change – tree clearing causes millions of tonnes of CO2 to be released into our atmosphere;
tree clearing near catchments can cause land erosion and run off into our river catchments – the erosion and run off caused by clearing along the Great Barrier Reef catchment banks is a leading cause of impacts to our Reef; or
any other issues you are concerned about that are relevant to your area.
Support the passing of the bill, to protect Queensland’s ecosystems and wildlife. This bill is important particularly because it:
reinstates the protection of high value regrowth on freehold and indigenous land;
removes provisions which permit clearing applications for high value agriculture and irrigated agriculture;
broadens protection of riparian vegetation, especially in the Great Barrier Reef catchments of Burnett Mary, Eastern Cape York and Fitzroy Great Barrier Reef;
reinstates the application of the riverine protection permit framework to the destruction of vegetation in a watercourse, lake or spring; and
reinstates a broader requirement for environmental offsets to be required for any residual impact, not just ‘significant’ impacts as is currently provided for in offsets legislation (and has led to only 1 offset being registered for vegetation impacts since 2014).
Postal address Research Director Agriculture and Environment Committee Parliament House BRISBANE QLD 4000
Submissions must include:
the author’s name and signature
if the submission is made on behalf of an organisation, the level of approval (e.g. a local branch, executive committee or national organisation)
mailing address (and email if available)
daytime telephone number
To have this significant legislation re-instated is vitally important for the future well-being of the land and all species and ecosystems that rely on a healthy forested landscape. CLICK ON WWF image above to make your submission online to your local state MP. Not all members of the opposition - or independants - are opposed to re-instatement of this legislation. It is also an opportunity extend the legislation to close loopholes. As WWF point out The VMROLA Bill is already a significant compromise. Damaging loopholes remain and should be closed.
Most exemptions will remain, in particular the urban exemption.
The reliance on self-assessable codes introduced in 2013 is retained.
The ability to withhold incriminating evidence of illegal clearing from the prosecution is retained.
22 million hectares of bushland made exempt on property maps will continue to be open to repeated clearing regardless it may fall in stream buffer zones, endangered ecosystems, habitat for threatened species and high slopes.
However brief - please make a submission to support the re-instatement of this vegetation protection legislation.
to call for stronger than ever vegetation clearing laws, given the recent report by WWF World Wildlife Fund that during the Newman government year 2013-14 around 300 000 hectares (including 40 000 ha of Koala habitat) was cleared compared to a total of 77 000 ha in 2009-10.
The 2013-14 rate of clearing under the Newman government put Queensland back up with Brazil and Indonesia as the worst in the world for deforestation. Biodiversity is now fast approaching tipping points in Queensland and the greenhouse gases released by this level of clearing have severely limited Australia’s chances of meeting its climate change mitigation targets.
Come to the meeting next Sunday, get the facts from a panel of speakers and have a chance to ask questions and have your say about the need for stronger vegetation clearing laws in Queensland.’
Barry Fitzpatrick is a long term passionate advocate and campaigner and LACA's spokesperson about the environment - in particular wetlands, Great Barier Reef and climate change.
Speakers from the Wilderness Society will also be leading discussion. Both organisations LACA Logan and Albert Conservation Association and the Wilderness Society understand that if we don't take actions to reduce climate emissions it will have deeply negative impacts on our natural environment, the Great Barrier Reef and all that rely on both.
The state of vegetation clearing in Queensland revealed by a CO2 study commissioned by the Wilderness Society is alarmingand reveals concering discrepancies. Lyndon Schneiders, national campaigns director of the Wilderness Society, says the new data shows
Australia is “lying to the world and lying to ourselves” about the true state of greenhouse emissions.
LACA appreciates the opportunty to particiate at this public forum. LACA does not support particular political parties but does support good policy and is encouraged that the Queensland Government ALP Member for Springwood is hosting.
Let's come together on Sunday to discuss our ideas to be presented in parliament to help formulate the good policy that is needed to protect our shared environment.
- first published in EcoNews from SCEC May-June 2013
Recent surveys in Australia and the US have found majority support for action on climate change. Clearly, even in these last bastions of climate denial, there is growing acknowledgement that we are facing a frightening future which will demand the employment of the best contemporary knowledge to come up with the most creative solutions, if we are to maintain our quality of life into the future.
But not the Federal Coalition. It is the conservative way to look back to the golden days of the past (and the Tea Party) for policy inspiration, and when you've backed yourself into a corner on carbon pricing with nowhere else to go, why not cobble up a crazy story and try to make it sound believable?
So what better for the Coalition than to reinvent the conservative ideology of 'work for the dole', combine it with Howard's Greencorps, dress it up as carbon reduction, and create a Green Army of 15000 to be recruited from somewhere within the ranks of the unemployed, disenchanted, and confused? The Green Army is tasked with planting 20 million trees by 2020, and this has become a major plank in the Coalition's 'Direct Action' policy - a title with a swaggering, cut the crap, General McArthurish appeal to those voters who, the Coalition hopes, won't think too much about it. Furthermore, 'Direct Action' echoes notions embodied in the Coalition's 'delivering frontline services' mantra - in this case, doing the carbon abatement 'here, in Australia, where we benefit directly from it'.
All sounding fair enough?
Well, no. The science is becoming far less certain around a second key plank in the Coalition's Direct Action policy - soil carbon's value for carbon sequestration – and economists almost universally condemn a third plank - the competitive grant scheme (effectively a carbon tax in disguise) where the government will buy reverse auction emissions reductions bids from businesses - because it will result in enormous administrative loads and ballooning taxpayer costs. As a result, the Coalition is finding that its Direct Action solution for carbon reduction is looking shakier than ever (although would-be deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce still can't see anything wrong with it because it sounds good and... should work anyway, whatever).
To avoid looking too silly the Coalition has quickly advanced the Green Army forward as the flagship solution, particularly for its neat opportunities to create warm fuzzy propaganda about winning community hearts and minds and boot-camping 'lazy' youth, but especially because it will provide endless ministerial photo ops around 'mission accomplished' tree planting events.
If we do try to assume for a moment that the Coalition in Government will be genuine about using the Green Army to help achieve their commitment to a 5% carbon emissions target by 2020, then the deployment of this 'army' will have to be at the very least on the 'shock and awe' scale. However, military jargon has always specialised in turning gore into glory. This will not be a disciplined army but a loose collection of 'militia', shanghaied for the job of planting 20 million trees by 2020, with a care factor somewhere around zero. And, if the Green Army is genuinely intended to meet its targets, it is the size, scale and speed needed to achieve its objectives that will create ugly problems. At 15000 strong, the 'Green Army' will be larger than most state police forces, over half the size of the Australian army and similar to the air force and navy, without the supporting infrastructure that these bodies have. It will be composed of young, generally poorly committed novices, learning as they go, conscripted for just six mistake filled months before being replaced by new recruits - their tour of duty terminating just as they might be starting to 'get it'. And this is one of the core problems. There is nothing wrong with planting lots of trees, but it has to be carried out with science and sympathy because ecosystems are very complex and enormous damage can be done through otherwise well-intentioned restoration schemes. And the challenge is huge - according to their Direct Action Plan, the Coalition aims to offset 15 million tonnes of emissions by 2020 through tree planting. To achieve this it has been estimated that an area of 25,000 square kilometres will be required, plus about 9,100 GL of water - two and a half times that proposed for the Murray Darling Basin Plan. So it will not be a trained and disciplined army which will face these impossible challenges, and the collateral damage is likely to be severe. Biodiversity will be the big loser, but also water quality and farming may be impacted, and communities and local councils will be obliged to pick up the pieces. Most pertinently, the objective of sequestering enough carbon to meet the 2020 five per cent carbon reduction target simply cannot be meaningfully assisted by planting 20 million trees in this way, within this time frame.
What a dismal future is "planned" for our koala populations in SEQ!
LACA members would agree with Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke's statement that "the states on their own have allowed numbers to continue to go into freefall." While this rapid decline in numbers may be attributed to development, cars, dogs, disease and climate change the real picture must also include the lack of political will to make decisions and legislation that will be loudly opposed by the development industry. The decades of work done by the Australian Koala Foundation - funded by community was instrumental in the EPBC protection coming about.
The image above shows community protest outside property DTMR wants to acquire to build a road freight motorway - called Park Ridge Connector Corridor. This property is currently shared with resident koalas and other species. It also shares many species and values of Berrinba Wetlands and Karawatha Forest.
Why would government want to pave any of this?
We - ie all governing bodies and communities of people who share koala land - need to preserve all koala habitat currently used - and take preventative action to retain the ecosytem containing the food trees. The mantra NO TREE NO ME is absolutely true.
It is a shameful indictment on the Gold Coast city that the Coomera development has occurred. The so called scientific research re translocation is a furphy to obtain funding. It does not justify clearing koala habitat to build houses and infrastructure for people! To make matters worse Gold Coast council has recently decided to place a protection order on two camphor laurel trees - an environmental weed species. What persuaded them? Someone chained to a tree for two days.
ROLE OF FORESTS This short animated film highlights the role forests can play in national development, a green economy and climate change. The film also reviews the impact of forests on business as usual and on transformative solutions.
The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. At the Johannesburg Summit 2002 the international community set itself the goal of making a "substantial reduction in the rate of loss of biological diversity" by 2010 but this is not happening. In fact biologists talk about sixth extinction wave and they estimate that the rate of species extinction is about 1,000 times higher than the natural background rate, mostly because of human activities: habitat loss, exploitation and climate change.