100,000 hectares of forest lost in unexplained land clearing
More than 100,000 hectares of land - an area the size of almost 14,000 Suncorp Stadiums - was cleared over a two year period that was unexplained and required further investigation, according to a report which details the regulatory assessments behind the land clearing figures in Queensland.
Queensland Conservation Council Nature Campaigner Natalie Frost said:
“This report contains shocking evidence that the government has no idea the true scale of land clearing.
Every single hectare of endangered species habitat is vital for the continuation of some of our most iconic species.”
“It’s clear that legislative loopholes and lack of enforcement by the Queensland Government allows broadscale deforestation to continue, particularly in endangered and of concern ecosystems. This 100,000 hectares is only a quarter of the 418,656 hectares of land clearing as per the latest government data.”
“What’s most shocking is the amount of clearing being done in areas with endangered and of concern regional ecosystems. In just two years, nearly 60,000 hectares of vulnerable forest and bushland were cleared that should have been protected.”
In 2017, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk committed to end broadscale land clearing in Queensland. The latest statewide landcover and tree study (SLATS) report released in December last year coupled with the SLATS vegetation management analysis report reveals that Queensland continues to clear land at alarming rates with most clearing exempt from any regulation.
“If we continue to clear forests at this rate there won’t be a future for species like the koala and greater glider. With the federal government releasing a plan to halt species extinctions, it’s imperative that the Queensland government addresses the out of control land clearing problem.”
The Queensland Conservation Council has joined the Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF-Australia to form the Queensland Forests Alliance to advocate for the protection of Queensland’s iconic forests and woodlands.
The SLATS vegetation management analysis can be found here
The SLATS report can be found here
Natalie Frost, Nature Campaigner, Queensland Conservation Council
0411 074 846