WWF-Australia has unveiled a plan with eight priority actions to conserve Queensland’s globally significant environment and unique plants and animals.
Queensland’s natural places, wildlife and lifestyle face huge challenges driven by excessive tree-clearing, increased agricultural pollution flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, unsustainable fishing in the Reef, climate change and other pressures.
Most of the actions in WWF-Australia’s “A Queensland where people & nature thrive” plan are or have in the past been supported, wholly or substantially, by both sides of politics.
The following actions are practical and cost-effective, and will deliver immediate and ongoing improvements to Queensland’s environment:
1. End excessive tree-clearing by legislating to restore the ban on clearing of remnant and high-quality regrowth vegetation and wetlands, and increase the extent and quality of native vegetation.
2. Establish Queensland koala, wallaby, wombat, cassowary and other wildlife ‘Arks’ by bringing 17.5 million hectares of critical habitat for unique Queensland species into the state national parks and nature refuge system.
3. Employ an additional full time equivalent 150 Indigenous land and sea rangers, bringing the total number of Queensland Indigenous land and sea rangers to 250.
4. Fully implement the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Task Force. This includes commencing, within 100 days of a new government being formed, enhanced regulations which establish catchment specific pollution reduction targets and require all new development to have no ‘net’ impact on Reef water quality.
5. Adopt climate change targets that would save the Reef. This includes adopting a 2030 emission reduction target of 60%-80% below present and renewable energy targets of 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and 100% of the remainder of the energy system (including transport and industrial) by 2050.
6. Fully implement the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2017. This strategy is broadly supported by the fishing industry, recreational fishers and conservationists.
7. Create an 85,000 square kilometre ‘Net Free Far North Queensland’ to protect turtles and dugongs, and create regional jobs through Indigenous-guided fishing and ecotourism.
8. Support sustainable agriculture in the Great Barrier Reef catchments including providing advice to each cane grower in Queensland and extension officer support to help graziers manage stream bank and gully erosion.
Click here for the full conservation plan.
WWF-Australia media contact:
Senior Media Officer Mark Symons on 0400 985 571