chainsaws back in Queensland

To: "'Greg Roberts'" <>, <>
Subject: chainsaws back in Queensland
From: "John Rose" <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 09:11:14 +0800
Why don't you send this email for publication in the Courier Mail 'letters
to the editor' section under the heading 'you get what you vote for'.

John Rose

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Greg Roberts
Sent: Tuesday, 14 May 2013 8:26 AM
Cc: 'Greg Roberts'
Subject: chainsaws back in Queensland

I would hope that as lovers of birds and other wildlife, we should be deeply
concerned about what is happening under the Campbell Newman-led Liberal
National Party in Queensland. A series of recent moves by the Government
demonstrates just what is at stake here.

The Government has boasted that it will "take an axe" to state laws
protecting native vegetation on private and leased lands from being cleared.
The laws were enacted by the previous Labor Government in response to
revelations that hundreds of thousands of hectares of native vegetation were
being cleared annually, contributing greatly to greenhouse gas emissions and
seriously threatening biodiversity, especially across vulnerable woodlands
inland. Now, landholders need do nothing more than present a "business plan"
for properties and they can bulldoze what they want.

The former Labor Government in its final years acted to lock up some
important natural areas as national park, such as the expanded Mapleton
National Park in the Sunshine Coast hinterland - a lovely, bird-rich area of
rainforest, wet sclerophyll and open forest. The new Government is reviewing
all park declarations made since 2002 and has made it clear that most will
be revoked. The protection of national parks is supposed to be set in stone,
otherwise there is no point in having them. Queensland already has one of
the smallest national park estates in the country on a per capita basis - it
is about to shrink further, and in the process the sanctity of national
parks will be ditched.

Logging and other damaging activities were removed from extensive areas of
state forest and other forested areas by the former Labor Government. Those
lands have been reopened to the developers and logging licences are being
issued to anyone who wants one. One new licence covers one of the few
remaining areas of rainforest frequented by the Eungella Honeyeater.

The new Government is revoking Labor's historic legislation protecting the
catchment of pristine wild rivers on Cape York and in the Channel Country of
south-west Queensland. It will move to stymie the planned World Heritage
declaration of Cape York and has vowed to open up Cape York - one of the
nation's last great wildernesses - to developers.

This depressing list goes on and on. Funding to help members of the
community challenge bad environmental planning decisions in the courts has
been stopped. Environmental responsibilities have been split among three
departments - with ultra-conservative National Party ministers (in a
government that is supposedly part-Liberal) running the show. Even the
former Bjelke-Petersen National Party Government would not tolerate what
Premier Campbell Newman (who is supposedly a Liberal) is up to. Despite all
his faults, Joh kept a leash on some of the more rabid environmental
wreckers in the Nationals' rank. Now it is open slather.

Greg Roberts 


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