Qld clearing controls at risk

Subject: Qld clearing controls at risk
From: Barry Traill <>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 16:35:07
Apologies for cross listings


Dear all,

Assuming that many people are interested I've been meaning for a while to
write an update on the situation with the clearing controls on clearing and
also to thank everyone who responded to my suggestion late last year to
write to the Qld Premier urging strong controls.  However I kept waiting
for some sort of resolution.  

For those of you who've been following the issue Queensland did put
clearing controls through the state parliament late last year, thanks in
part to pressure from people writing in from around the country.  These
controls were minimalist, as they only provided strong protection only for
existing threatened ecosystems.  However, given the politics of the state
it could be fairly described as a 'good start'.   

However, while the legislation has gone through parliament the controls
have not yet been 'proclaimed' as needed for them to become law.  Local
reports indicate that massive panic clearing continued during this hiatus,
and is continuing as you read this.  

The Qld government has sat on proclaiming the laws while seeking
significant funds from the Federal Government to assist with money for
incentives and compensation moneys for landowners to help implement the
laws.  Over the last several weeks there has been a stand-off between
(Labour) Premier Beattie and Federal (Liberal) Environment Minister Senator
Hill.  The Premier said he wouldn't implement without significant federal
money.  The Senator has said it is a state problem- despite writing to the
Premier several months ago urging him to put in stronger clearing controls.
 Now the Federal Agriculture Minister, (National Party) Mr. Truss has
entered the debate describing the controls themselves as unreasonable on
farmers.  Various farmers groups in Qld are organising a very aggressive
campaign attacking the controls.  

The net result of this set of party politics is that the Queensland
to lack of funding.  The Qld Premier is meeting the Prime Minister shortly
and will discuss the issue of funding.  

Given the national scale of the clearing in Queensland, and the
biodiversity, greenhouse, land degradation and salinity consequences of
continued broad scale clearing the conservation groups working on the issue
believe it is reasonable and appropriate for the federal government to
assist with significant funding.  

Messages to the Prime Minister would be greatly appreciated at  the moment
pointing out to him the need to provide some funds to assist Queensland
with implementing effective clearing controls.  

The Prime Minister's contact details are:  
Fax:  Canbarra fax, 02 6273 4100,  in Sydney: 02 9251 5454.  His adress is
simply:   Hon. John Howard,  Parliament House, Canberra 2601.  Mr. Howard
appears to not have a public email address.  

If you don't have much time nothing fancy needed in the message, just
something short  urging him to assist Qld with funding because of the
national importance that clearing be controlled in Qld.   There is also
hopefully be media coverage of the issue outside Queensland in the next few
days.  Letters to the editor would be extremely valuable.

Please contact me if you would like any further information or details on
what is happening- email  not the listserver this
message has come through.  

Barry Traill

Dr. Barry Traill
Australian Woodlands Conservancy
RMB 1207 Chiltern 3683
ph/fax 0357 261885

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