We need to keep our tree clearing laws!

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Protect Queensland’s Endangered Forests and Wildlife Habitat

We need to keep our tree clearing laws!

Hi everyone

In the past twelve months we have seen an unprecedented attack on the laws that have been put in place over 3 decades of hard work and with the strong support of the community.

Now – unbelievably – the laws that finally brought an end to the clearing and devastation of Queensland’s endangered regrowth forests, bushland and riverine vegetation are under being torn up! 

This is after Campbell Newman promised not to remove these protections!

Now is the time to speak out!

As you are all too aware the Queensland LNP Government is rapidly escalating its attacks on our environment.

Only we can stop them.

Past experiences shows us that people power will turn around bad decisions. We know from public and private statements that the Queensland Government is already worried about a backlash on this issue. The key is to make all Government members realise that what their leaders are putting forward is bad policy which the great majority of Queenslanders will not support.

Queensland’s Vegetation Management Act has slowed clearing from more than 750,000ha a year before laws were introduced in 1999 to 77,590ha in 2009-10. Changes to the laws in 2009 gave extra protections to regrowth vegetation in recognition that many ecosystems had been pushed so far to the brink that recovery was their only hope. Those changes also gave stronger protection to riparian corridors and riverine systems. Now we estimate that at least 700,000ha of endangered or ecologically important forests.

Changes to the vegetation clearing laws are currently being rushed through by the state government and could go to parliament in just over a month.

Yesterday the Government sent out a media release headed: ‘Green groups peddle lies about vegetation laws’. This was to publicise the talk by Minister Cripps to the Rural Press Club unapologetically titled: ‘Taking the axe to Queensland’s tree clearing laws’ .

There was no description in the media release of what the ‘lies’ were.

This attack on the environment and its defenders must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

It is vital that the Queensland Government is called to account – that means all members of parliament including the dozens of ordinary backbenchers who may not understand what the proposed changes to the legislation will mean.

PLEASE HELP! Call your local Queensland State MP immediately!

If you don’t know their details go to this webpage: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/members/current/list

If you don’t know your electorate go to this webpage and search on your postcode: http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/state.aspx

Let them know you are dismayed that they are proposing to open up 100,000s of hectares of endangered and ecologically important forests and bushland for clearing. This will include known habitat for koalas, cassowaries, mahogany gliders and hundreds of other threatened species.

Vegetation is classified “endangered’ only when over 90% of its original extent has been cleared. If the current amendments to the Vegetation Management Act go ahead that remaining <10% will be cleared and critical habitat will be lost!

Ask them to provide the evidence behind Minister Cripps claim that conservation groups have lied. Ask your local Member of Parliament or their electorate officer to pass on your anger to party leaders at well-respected organisations with tens of thousands of members being slandered in this way by the Queensland Government.

Please use the attached 1-page sheet to help you when you call.

The Queensland conservation groups between them have many thousands of members and supporters and will be working together to push back against the weakening of these important laws. WWF is taking a lead role in bringing attention to this issue. In coming weeks we hope to build the support of people to work together to fight these changes to the laws.

If you do not want to continue to be contacted please respond to the person you receive this from and let them know.

Otherwise we hope you can join us and help to stop these very bad changes that are taking Queensland back to the dark ages of environmental protection!