Pages tagged "Filter:Media Release"

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

[email protected]

Santos earnings and approvals make a mockery of climate policy

Australia’s most recognised oil and gas company, Santos, has revealed it made a staggering $3 billion profit in 2022, with their underlying profit up 160%, showing its bad behaviour is paying off. 

The federal Government yesterday approved an additional 166 gas wells in Queensland which would lock Queenslanders into climate chaos for decades to come.

Last year, it was revealed that Santos covered up an oil spill from the Varanus Island oil rig off WA which killed dolphins. In December, Santos’ approvals to drill for gas in the Tiwi sea country were invalidated by a Federal Court, because they hadn’t consulted the Traditional Owners. 

In our own state, Santos produced more carbon emissions than 200,000 Queenslanders but paid less company tax than the average person last year. 


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New Report Shows Deforestation Impacts of Beef Industry

UPDATE 28 February: 100,000 hectares of Queensland forest has been lost in unexplained land clearing and require further investigation, according to the latest government data. Read the release here.

A recent report highlights the extent of Queensland's deforestation problem, with recently decimated landscapes including more than 1 million hectares of forest cleared for beef from 2014-2019.

The report also found that:

  • Land clearing in Queensland has increased, but was also underestimated in the past
  • Deforestation for beef pastures destroyed habitats for 388 nationally threatened species and 14 threatened ecological communities over the five year study period.

In 2017, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised that "a re-elected Palaszczuk Government will once again drive down tree clearing rates by legislating to end broad-scale clearing of remnant vegetation."

In 2018 some improvements to the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (VMA) were made but those changes did not go far enough, loopholes remain that allow broadscale clearing.

This latest report clearly details the impact of those loopholes and the effect they are having on Queensland’s iconic plant and animal species like the koala, squatter pigeon, ooline and shiny-leaved ironbark.

Queensland has already lost far too much of our iconic natural landscapes and wildlife habitat to land-clearing.

Will you email the premier to ask her to to protect our forests and put an end to mass deforestation once and for all?

UN: “in danger” Reef recommendation a wake up call for governments

Greater government intervention is needed to protect the Great Barrier Reef, after UNESCO expert panel last night reported their assessment that the criteria have been met to place the iconic World Heritage Area on its “in danger” list, following its reactive Reef monitoring mission earlier this year. 

The expert report said Queensland and Australian Governments need to legislate increased emission reduction targets immediately to protect the Great Barrier Reef, as well as rejecting reef damaging dams such as Urannah and Hells Gate.   

These recommendations are the strongest signal yet that the Great Barrier Reef desperately needs action from all levels of government. Receiving an “in-danger” listing means that the World Heritage Committee would review the health of the Reef annually, could request additional conservation actions and could remove the Reef’s “world Heritage” listing. 

Queensland Conservation Council Director, Dave Copeman, says:

“If the Australian Government wants to prevent the reef being listed as in danger, their obligations are clear. A UNESCO signatory must do “all it can.., to the utmost of its own resources”, to protect the Great Barrier Reef from warming waters caused by climate change, as well as water quality impacts of farming, dams and land clearing. 

"The Great Barrier Reef is a gift to Queensland. It brings billions of dollars every year to Queensland communities, while supporting millions of species and protecting our shores from worsening climate impacts. The Reef is also of vital cultural importance to our First Nations communities.

“The Queensland Government and Federal Labor government have demonstrated increased leadership on climate change since the experts visited in February 2022, including a plan to close all coal power stations in Qld, increased emissions targets and a strong commitment to address climate change at national and international levels. 

“This report indicates that the reef is in danger, and they have until the UNESCO committee meets in June/July 2023 to demonstrate further action that meets the standard of protection necessary. UNESCO’s world-leading experts have made it clear; to protect the Reef, we need to rapidly cut climate emissions and care for our forests and waterways that support our Reef. 

UNESCO has recommended Australia aligns its emission reduction target with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. To achieve this, we need to reject all proposals for new coal and gas projects. We must put the health of our Reef and climate ahead of projects that continue to line the pockets of coal and gas billionaires which are currently exploiting households in the cost of living crisis.

“That means we need to cut Australia’s emissions by at least 74% by 2030, a big jump on the current targets of 43% and 30% for Australia and Queensland respectively. We can’t achieve the protection of the reef without ending the approval of new coal and gas. 

Contact: Dave Copeman - 0408 841 595

Will Australia Sign on to Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership force Queensland to address the deforestation crisis?

Released 8 November 2022

The Queensland Conservation Council welcomes the Australian Government signing the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership at the Conference of Parties in Egypt yesterday. 

The question is whether this commitment will lead to action to address out of control deforestation in Queensland? 


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Alliance to protect forests and bushland from deforestation launched

Every year in Queensland, hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests and bushland are bulldozed. Threatened species habitat, forests in catchments for the Great Barrier Reef and mature forests are destroyed by deforestation—mostly for grazing and pasture for beef production.

As exposed on the ABC, much of this deforestation occurs with little to no government assessment, due to the state’s weak categorisation of native vegetation and a systemic failure at the Commonwealth level to call-in deforestation for assessment under Federal environment law.

Dave Copeman, Queensland Conservation Council Director said, “the strong community response to the media story shows Queenslanders are shocked at the continuingly high rates of deforestation in our state that make us a global deforestation hotspot.”

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Death by a thousand cuts: out of control deforestation risks wildlife extinction in Queensland

A joint Queensland Conservation Council and Wilderness Society investigation found over 3700ha of legal land clearing of potential threatened species habitat in a Consolidated Pastures property, called Wrotham Park. As covered by the ABC on 7:30 last night, the clearing was undertaken throughout 2021, and is an example of broad scale legal land clearing leading to species loss.

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Large handback welcomed as Queensland returns Jardine River National Park to First Nations ownership

The Queensland Conservation Council, today welcomed the handback of the Jardine River and Denham Group National Parks as well as part of Jardine River and Heathlands Departmental and Special Purpose Reserves to the Gudang/Yadhaykenu, Atambaya and Angkamuthi (Seven Rivers) people. 

This significant event will see a total of 362,000 hectares of land returned to First Nations ownership. Under the hand back arrangements, the land will be granted to the Ipima Ikaya Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC and the Atambaya Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Traditional Owners. They will take back ownership of the newly renamed Apudthama National Park  which will be jointly managed with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. 

“Queensland Conservation Council strongly welcomes this handback. Returning these parks to the traditional owners is the best way to protect the area’s natural and cultural values,'' said the Queensland Conservation Council’s Director, Dave Copeman. 

“This handback and the Premier’s personal participation marks the significance of this handback to all Queenslanders. We acknowledge the government’s continued leadership in the growth and support of First Nations’ management of our protected area estate” 

“First Nations peoples hold unique knowledge and rights inherited from their ancestors and have cared for the Cape since time immemorial. We welcome the transfer of significant parts of the resource reserve to the new National Park, expanding the total National Parks area in Queensland.  

Since 1995, the Cape York land tenure resolution process has returned 4.3 million hectares of land to Aboriginal ownership. 

For more information: 

Dave Copeman - Director - Queensland Conservation Council - [email protected] 

0408 841 595

Will the 10 year energy plan meet AEMO’s coal closure timeline revealed today?


Dave Copeman Mob:0408 841 595


Will the 10 year energy plan meet AEMO’s coal closure timeline revealed today?

A report released today by Energy & Resource Insights has revealed the closure forecast for Queensland coal fired power stations within the forecasts of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP). 

The revealing of this forecast posed a test for the ambition to reduce electricity prices and carbon emissions in the Queensland Government’s upcoming 10 year Energy Plan.  

Under the Hydrogen Superpower scenario in AEMO’s ISP, most closely aligned to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, all Queensland coal will close by 2030, and be replaced by cheaper cleaner renewable energy and storage that makes possible an export green hydrogen industry. 

The Energy & Resource Insights report, commissioned by Queensland Conservation Council, Environment Victoria and Friends of the Earth, unveils the timeline embedded in ISP. 

While AEMO chooses not to explicitly outline the closure dates in the Integrated System Plan, they are able to be unequivocally calculated using the modelling methodology, and the known nameplate capacity of each coal generating unit. 

The report reveals that the lowest cost pathway to a Hydrogen Superpower scenario would involve Callide B Coal Power station closing by 2025, along with Kogan Creek and Tarong, while Stanwell and Gladstone Power stations would close completely by 2028, Callide C power station by 2029 and the privately owned Millmerran power station by 2030. These closure dates are between 3 and 22 years earlier than their official forecast closure dates. 

“This report makes it clear that Queensland can run without coal power stations by 2030. It provides a clear standard that the Ministerial Energy plan should be judged against”. 

“The agency responsible for operating the National Energy Market has calculated that the lowest cost scenario to transform our electricity generation and transmission to a hydrogen superpower involves coal closure by 2030,” said Dave Copeman, the Director of Queensland Conservation Council. 

“If we are to benefit from cheaper, cleaner electricity that will power the industries and jobs of the future, we should be announcing coal power station closures right now, so that they can start in 2025.  

“The upcoming 10 year Energy plan should be built on this pathway, to secure a future for our clean industries and a pathway consistent with global warming below 1.5 degrees. Anything slower puts both the Great Barrier Reef and Queenslanders at greater risk of global warming, while keeping electricity prices higher for longer. 

“I hope Minister de Brenni is getting the right advice, because Queenslanders can’t afford skyrocketing electricity prices they are paying because of high coal and gas generation prices.  

While the energy prices have risen since the release of the 2022 ISP, they did allow for this possibility in the report. “If, for example, recent wholesale electricity prices have been forced higher by higher international fuel prices, domestic coal-plant outages and a lack of transmission capacity, in that order, then investment in low-cost renewable energy and essential transmission is the best strategy to protect against higher prices.

Report attached.

Millmerran Power proposes coal mine expansion, extending station lifespan

Millmerran Power is pursuing EPBC approval to expand its Western Queensland coal mine and prolong the life of its coal power station to 2056, just days after the landmark inclusion of emissions reduction in Australia’s National Energy Objective.

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