The State Government has raised new concerns about what it’s described as “excessive” tree-clearing across Queensland. A new report claims almost 4,000 hectares were cleared last financial year. But the farmers’ lobby group AgForce begs to differ.

Ashlee Press reports.


The Statewide Landcover and Trees Study claims tree clearing had soared by nearly 50% particularly in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad and Environment Minister, Steven Miles claim the current rate of land clearing is driving native wildlife to extinction, risking tens of thousands of jobs and increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Steven Miles, Qld Environment Minister: “The data in this report is nothing short of devastating, it is even worse than I had ever feared.”

The Labor Government is blaming the Opposition for the large increase.

Jackie Trad, Qld Deputy Premier: “From the last full year of Labor being in office in 2011/12, tree clearing in Queensland has quadrupled.”

But farmers’ lobby group AgForce says the report is “flawed”.

Andrew Freeman, AgForce: “Well obviously we’re very disappointed, I mean this is, this is just you know every time we come to a state election this issue comes up about tree clearing.”

The report reveals less than a quarter of a per cent of Queensland’s total land area was cleared, however the Labor party maintains this is still a concerning number.

AgForce has also released a ‘Healthy Environment, Healthy Agriculture’ policy in a bid to end vegetation management laws being used as a political football in the lead-up to every election.

Ashlee Press, QUT News.