WWF-Australia said the “Saving Habitat” policy announced today by the ALP if implemented “should end Queensland’s escalating tree-clearing crisis and send it into reverse”.
“Last year alone bulldozers destroyed over 40 million trees and killed 45 million animals – this commitment promises to put the brakes on the carnage,” said Dermot O’Gorman, WWF-Australia CEO.
The ALP commitments to tackle excessive tree clearing include restoring safeguards to protect both untouched forest and bush areas that have regrown into valuable wildlife habitat and incentives for landholders who want to restore lost habitats.
Importantly, the policy would also clamp down on the self-assessable clearing loophole that has seen over 1 million hectares of mostly intact bushland slated for clearing in just over a year.
“If we don’t get safeguards back in place, it’s a death sentence for our irreplaceable wildlife, for the Reef, and for the tourism industry that depends on both,” said Mr O’Gorman.
WWF-Australia has released a conservation plan calling for all parties to restore the ban on the clearing of remnant and high-quality regrowth vegetation and wetlands, and increase the extent and quality of native vegetation.
WWF-Australia media contact:
Senior Media Officer Mark Symons on 0400 985 571