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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia CC BY-ND 2.0 / carawah / flickr

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia CC BY-ND 2.0 / carawah / flickr

Queensland election watch 2017

17 Nov 2017

Keywords
  • environmental laws
  • koalas
  • queensland
  • tree-clearing

One really big koala

November 24 2017
By Owen Wareham, Supporter Engagement Manager, WWF-Australia 

 

Koala projection, Brisbane CBD, November 2017 © WWF-Australia

 Well it’s nearly over - it's nearly time for an election result - but one more big thing’s just happened in Queensland that we just had to share:

 

WWF-Australia has projected a giant animated laser koala onto the side of a building in the Brisbane CBD building to raise awareness of the species’ decline in Queensland.

 

The 5-storeys-high koala has a simple, poignant message: “We need trees”

 

The projection has been launched as our scientists release new analysis that shows that runaway bulldozing of forests has killed more than 5 thousand koalas in Queensland in just four years.

 

That is a devastating loss for a species listed as vulnerable in Queensland and where populations around Brisbane have collapsed by 50-80% in less than 20 years.

 

As our CEO, Dermot said:

“It's hard to imagine any country in the world would allow twice as many of its globally iconic wildlife to be killed. It's a national tragedy and an international embarrassment. We know that Queenslanders are distressed if even one koala, their state emblem, is killed or injured, let alone 5000.

 

With just 24 hours until the Queensland election is over - we’re hoping that the next government of this great state acts to stop excessive tree-clearing and save the koala in their first 100 days.

 

 

Queensland election issues - explained!

November 23 2017

 

The Queensland election is just days away, so we invited politicians from the major parties, ALP, the LNP, One Nation and the Greens to answer explain their party's solutions to key election issues. So far only two parties have agreed to speak to us; our CEO Dermot spoke to Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier, Labor Government, and Amy MacMahon, Greens, for South Brisbane. See what they have to say on the state election 2017 below...

 

 

 

 

Huge news for renewables 

November 17 2017
By Owen Wareham, Supporter Engagement Manager, WWF-Australia 

 

Solar panels at a solar power station © Global Warming Images / WWF

Ok, so if like me you’re a big fan of renewables, then here’s some more good news!

 

The ALP has announced they’ll deliver at least 50% renewable energy in Queensland by 2030. They’ve also said they’ll deliver 1000 MW of new renewable energy and support the progress of a baseload solar thermal power station and hydrogeneration in Queensland.

 

This is great because these are exactly the kinds of clean technologies we need to be accelerating, if we're going to limit global warming.

 

Good for the Reef

This really matters, because right now, our beautiful Great Barrier Reef is suffering. In May this year, the nation's top Reef scientist, Professor Terry Hughes revealed about 50% of all of the Reef's coral had been destroyed by coral bleaching in the last two years. Coral bleaching is happening more and more as global warming causes underwater heat waves.

 

Then, in July, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage Committee (or UNESCO WHC for short) called for nations to limit global warming to 1.5°C in order to protect the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef.

 

The CEO’s view

Our CEO, Dermot, is a real champion for clean technology and its transformative ability. Here’s what he had to say about the announcement: "Taking sensible steps to accelerate our transition to a clean energy future is absolutely critical if we're going to see the Great Barrier Reef return to health. Without these kinds of actions; the Reef will continue to perish," he said.

 

 Here’s hoping that in the time left before election day, the other parties come out with strong renewables policies too!

 


 

Labor Party makes promises about saving habitats 

November 5 2017

By Owen Wareham, Supporter Engagement Manager, WWF-Australia

 

Tree thinning, Western Downs, Queensland © WWF-Aus

This is huge news: first out of the blocks with a big environment policy, the Labor Party have just released a policy called Saving Habitat and it’s got some great promises!

 

Putting brakes on the carnage

I asked the boss (WWF-Australia CEO, Dermot O’Gorman) what he thought and he was pretty frank (he’s good like that).


“Last year alone, bulldozers destroyed over 40 million trees and killed 45 million animals – this commitment promises to put the brakes on the carnage,” he explained.


Can you imagine saving 45 million animals from death? What a result that’d be!


Repair, regrow, revegetate

As well as restoring laws to protect both forest and bush areas that have regrown into valuable wildlife habitat, the plan also includes a $500 million promise of funding to repair and revegetate land which will store carbon, create wildlife habitat and cut Reef pollution.


Stopping excessive tree-clearing

This is a really important announcement that comes after more than 50,000 WWF-Australia supporters sent KIMBY koalas messages to Queensland politicians asking them to take action to stop excessive tree-clearing.  


Stopping tree-clearing is really important because it will help us avoid losing native animals, it’ll prevent pollution running off the land and into the Great Barrier Reef, and it will help us tackle global warming.


Still time

What’s even better, is that it’s still early in the campaign, so there’s heaps of time left for other parties to make announcements like this.


Announcements that could save koalas from localised extinction and keep Queensland trees upright!


 

 

Now is the time to make nature an election issue

November 1 2017

By Owen Wareham, Supporter Engagement Manager, WWF-Australia

 

Everything’s bigger in Queensland. It’s the home of the Big Pineapple, Matilda the big kangaroo, and the biggest living structure on Earth - the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Aerial view of Hardy Reef taken on 20 June 2017 to assess if the Heart Reef has been bleached © WWF-Aus / Christian Miller

Big opportunity for wildlife

And, for the next 3 weeks, Queensland will be home to one of the biggest opportunities we have to protect Australian wildlife like koalas, dugongs and cassowaries, coastal habitats and bushland.


Because Queensland is going to the polls!


On Saturday 25 November, Queenslanders will vote to decide who’s in charge for the next term of government.


Making the Sunshine State great again

Here at WWF-Australia, we’ve sent all of the parties contesting the election our policy prospectus, A Queensland where people & nature thrive.


It’s our science-based analysis of the eight things that need to happen to protect what makes the Sunshine State great.  


If you want you can read all that detail here.


A plan to protect

But if you got to where I said, “policy prospectus” and thought to yourself; “ain’t no one got time for that”, then here’s the basics.


We reckon there’s eight things that the next Queensland Government needs to do to protect its rich resources of nature:

 

  1.  Cut down less trees and grow more of them instead, so animals have places to live and our air gets cleaner.
  2.  Create more safe spaces for iconic Aussie animals like koalas, wallabies, wombats and cassowaries.
  3. Employ an additional 150 Indigenous rangers so that the people with the strongest connection to the land can look after it.
  4. Stop pollution flowing off the land and into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
  5. Cut emissions from carbon pollution and transition to renewable energy really quickly; so we can limit the impact of global warming.
  6. Make sure our fisheries are sustainable (so Queenslanders can continue to fish for years and years to come!).
  7. Get nets out of the waters in Far North Queensland to protect turtles and dugongs.
  8. Help canegrowers and graziers with advice about how to farm more sustainably.

That’s it!

Behind each one is a lot of detail, but that’s the high-level view.  So, you can see why we think the next three weeks are a really big opportunity for Queenslanders and the nature that we love.


We’ll update this page with any big election news in response to these things over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for updates!

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Orphaned koala joey on a purple cushion in southeast Queensland, 2017 © WWF-Aus / Patrick Hamilton

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