Pages tagged "Filter:Threatened Species"
New figures reveal scarcity of site visits to check on over 1m hectares of land clearing in Queensland
With more than 340,000 hectares of bushland cleared each year, Queensland continues to push threatened species to the brink of extinction. Only 21 field visits were carried out in 2022-2023, demonstrating that the Palaszczuk Government is leaving broadscale clearing unchecked. With the majority of clearing taking place in 'unregulated' lands known as Category X, it can now be revealed that there are remnant ecosystems, home to koalas and endangered reptiles within these areas that are not being protected.Read more
Queensland's natural environment will benefit if root-and-branch reform of the nation’s federal environment laws remains consistent with the goal of ending extinctions.
Yesterday's targeted consultation on the long-awaited Nature Positive law reform is the first of a number, as the Federal Government works to finalise laws that can deliver on Tanya Plibersek's courageous promise to end extinctions in Australia.
Queensland Conservation Council, the state's peak environment body, welcomed measures including the commitment to nature-positive outcomes in decision-making and a stronger independent Environmental Protection Agency, but flagged the risk of laws being watered down, with proposed community enforcement rights to ensure federal laws not in the draft.
Dave Copeman, Director of Queensland Conservation Council, said:
"These laws are a once in a generation chance to fix our broken nature laws. The Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act is meant to protect biodiversity, but Queensland’s koalas, gliders, white-throated snapping turtles, elegant frogs, yakka skinks and gouldian finches are on the brink of extinction
The results are clear, our current laws are fundamentally failing, and projects that put the animals we love at risk keep getting approved.
"It's early days in this process, with yesterday's consultation just the first of many, but what I saw is root and branch reform of national environmental laws. There are some strong parts of what is proposed, including a strong commitment to achieving nature-positive outcomes in every decision.
"There is a proposal for a strong Environmental Protection Agency, with a CEO empowered to make decisions to protect and restore nature.
"But there are also some weaknesses that need to be addressed. Today's consultations included the proposed approval process, and they don't currently include any opportunity for the community to take actions when laws are not being enforced.
"We need so-called 'third party enforcement' provisions. Federal Government agencies aren't on the ground like community groups are, so local communities need to be able to take action when our species are being harmed.
"There are also strong forces seeking to water down stronger environmental protection.
"Right now, the Federal Government needs to hear from every Queenslander who cares about our koalas, our greater gliders, our regent honeyeaters and gouldian finches, that we want laws that protect the places and the species we love."
A new report to be launched on the Sunshine Coast today shows koalas face an existential threat from urban sprawl and greenfield development in South East Queensland.
The Holding the Line report (PDF 6mb), commissioned by Queensland Conservation Council, shows the new update to the ShapingSEQ regional plan risks taking one of Australia’s fastest growing regions below the 'bare minimum' international benchmark of 30% bushland coverage. Almost 6% of bushland is at risk of being lost to urban sprawl and new developments over the planning time period.Read more
Sunday 5 June 2022
Queensland Conservation Council strongly welcomes today’s announcement of nearly $40m of new funding for threatened species from the Qld Govt.
“We can save our iconic native species. We know it will take funding and research, and strong laws to protect habitat from clearing, logging and development,” said QCC Director Dave Copeman.
“Today’s funding announcement by Minister Scanlon is a clear demonstration that the Queensland Government hasn’t given up on our incredible native wildlife. This $14.7m funding for recovery plans for threatened species and Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers is an important commitment.
“We were disappointed beyond words at the news that the outgoing Federal Minister Sussan Ley abolished 176 Recovery Plans for threatened species and habitats as one of her last acts as a Minister. It seems she’d just given up on preventing the all too common march to extinction.
“Australia regrettably leads the world in mammalian extinctions. We have lost more than 10% of our mammal species since 1788.
The new Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek should review this decision, and recommit to the recovery to healthy populations for all threatened species in Australia.
“Queensland has the highest number of threatened species in Australia, and they face the greatest extent of habitat destruction in the country, principally through shocking rates of landclearing.
The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) welcomes the announcement made today by Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon of the $8.6 million to revegetate and protect key koala habitat in the northern Brigalow Belt.
“In the last several months, koalas have been uplisted to endangered both federally and in Queensland. It is more important than ever that koala habitat be restored and preserved.
“This is especially significant for an area like the Brigalow Belt where the 2018/2019 SLATS report shows the largest amounts of deforestation have occurred.
“While we celebrate investment to revegetate cleared koala habitat, it would be even better if the Government prevented koala habitat from being destroyed in the first place,” said Jon Ferguson, QCC’s Nature Campaigner. “We continue to call on the government to take the necessary steps to protect this iconic Australian species.”
These steps include:
- Closing loopholes in the Vegetation Management ACt that allow clearing of koala habitat
- Expanding and extending the SEQ Koala Conservation Strategy
- Increase funding for the Protected Area Strategy
- Strengthen environmental laws that were weakened under the Newman Government
“We can save the Koala and other threatened species, but we must act now, follow the advice of conservation scientists and protect their habitats from the destruction that drives extinctions,” says Jon Ferguson.
For further information and comment, contact:
Jon Ferguson, 07 3846 7833