Wildlife group fighting Qld Govt over land clearing laws

WILDLIFE advocates are funding a campaign against the Queensland Government as new land-clearing laws sit ready to be passed by Parliament.

WWF Australia is running television and radio advertisements against the government, as it prepares to create laws allowing clearing for areas deemed "high-value agriculture".

Chief executive Dermot O'Gorman said Premier Campbell Newman was now the only one who could stop bushland being destroyed.

"We thought the bush was safe from bulldozers and before the election Mr Newman agreed," Mr O'Gorman said.

"But a few in his government now want to drag us back to slashing and burning.

"These laws protect some of our most precious wildlife habitats.

"If the proposals on the table are allowed to proceed, thousands of koalas and other animals will be at risk."

Farmers have supported the government's change, seeing it as a reduction in red tape as they manage their land.

Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps helped announce the plans in March, saying it was time to undo over-regulation created by the former government.

The plan includes allowing clearing for high-value agriculture and removal of regrowth regulations on freehold and indigenous land - that is, vegetation that has been growing unimpeded since the end of 1989.

It also creates self-assessable codes for weed and pest management and maps to show where regulations apply.

The laws may be considered when Queensland Parliament resumes on Tuesday.



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