Land-clearing limits loom
Queensland Parliament has passed a bill to limit land-clearing.
The new laws will require farmers obtain approval to thin vegetation, and create new protections for 860,000 hectares of high value regrowth.
Environmental groups say it is a good first step to ending the state’s “deforestation crisis”, but farmers say their land and livelihoods are now under threat.
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said agriculture could thrive under the new laws.
“We can grow our state's agricultural sector and protect our environment simultaneously — at the same time,” Mr Lynham said.
“It is not about siding with so-called extreme greens, or taking sides.
“It is a question of science. Labor accepts the science that proves that unsustainable rates of tree clearing are damaging Queensland's environment and our climate and ultimately, damaging our economy.
“Our plan was not a secret; it was a key plank of our commitment to the people of Queensland, to work hard to do what we could to reverse the decline in the Great Barrier Reef. That was our commitment and we are following through.”
The Federal Government may challenge the laws in the High Court on the grounds that they may restrict business activity on Indigenous land.