Tree clearing consultation rolled out in Cape York

Vegetation management consultation rolled out to Cape York Peninsula

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Minister for Environment Steven Miles today met with Cape York Peninsula mayors and indigenous landholders in Cairns, to listen to feedback and discuss the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed vegetation management and protection laws.

Ms Trad said the Palaszczuk Government had remained committed to engaging with stakeholders, after promising to reinstate Labor’s nation-leading vegetation framework at the last election.

“I have remained committed to ensuring Queenslanders and other key stakeholders were informed of our intentions to introduce these laws every step of the way,” Ms Trad said.

“Since November last year, I have engaged in extensive consultation with government agencies and the agriculture and conservation sectors, including the President and CEO of AgForce, and representatives of WWF and The Wilderness Society.

“Today is an opportunity for us to consult with mayors and indigenous landholders from the Cape York Peninsula region to discuss and explain what these proposed laws will mean for this unique and important region.

“Importantly, these laws will not remove the ability for indigenous landholders and the Cape York community to benefit from, and develop, their land and a range of opportunities will still exist.

“In fact, applications to clear for agricultural purposes on Aboriginal land in the Cape York Peninsula can still be applied for under the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to driving the local economy and promoting opportunities for North Queensland.

“These laws are about balancing economic growth, development and opportunities in the agriculture industry with the crucial need to protect our state’s most important ecosystems.”

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said the laws were a crucial protection for Queensland’s natural environment particularly the Great Barrier Reef.

“The cape is home to some of the most incredible landscapes in the country, this is land that traditional owners have tended to for tens of thousands of years and now we’re bulldozing hundreds of thousands of hectares at a time,” Dr Miles said.

“The traditional owners of this land know better than anyone how to utilise it sustainably.

“We also need to think about our iconic Great Barrier Reef, which attracts 1.9 million visitors and injects $6 billion into our economy annually.

“The northern most part of the reef is feeling the worst of the current coral bleaching event which we know is caused by climate change.

“It is imperative that we curb our emissions from land use in order to protect our local environment and meet our international targets to prevent further global warming.

“Land-clearing rates doubled in Queensland in the first two years of the LNP government and Queensland is now responsible for 90 per cent of Australia’s emissions from land use.
“This is not good enough.

“We are committed to returning sound environmental protections in Queensland for the sake of the Great Barrier Reef, for the sake of our native flora and fauna and for the sake of our climate.”