Queensland scientists have urged Premier Campbell Newman to reconsider proposed changes to the Vegetation Management Act.
The World Wildlife Fund says the amendments could put two million hectares of important bushland and wildlife habitat at risk.
Kate Fallis reports.
After years of broadscale land-clearing in Queensland conservationists thought things had finally changed for the better when new laws came into play in 2007.
However, they are now strongly opposing new proposals by the Newman Government.
The Wilderness Society says in changing the laws the Premier will be breaking an election promise.
Dr Tim Seelig, Queensland Campaign Manager, Wilderness Society: “Well if they pass the bill, we will certainly be making sure the community is fully aware that Premier Newman has broken a key promise he made during the election not to reduce the level of protection for the native bushland.”
The new bill potentially gives farmers greater power to clear native bushland off their properties, putting wildlife at risk.
Dr Tim Seelig, Queensland Campaign Manager, Wilderness Society: “Well if we look at the Koala and the Cassowary and they’re both endangered species. Queensland has a great risk of losing all of it’s Koalas, and Koalas require trees.
It’s all part of the government’s plan to double Queensland’s food production by 2040, but scientists and conservation groups can’t see how that justifies the further endangerment of the environment.
Dr Martine Maron is leading a group of scientists opposing the changes.
She believes it’s the responsibility of scientists such as herself to take a stand on these kinds of issues.
Dr Martine Maron, Senior Lecturer, Environmental Management: “As scientists with expertise in those areas we think that it’s our duty to make sure that people are aware of the negative side of any decision to increase land clearing rates.”
The Natural Resources Minister was unavailable for comment.
Kate Fallis, QUT News.