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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Independent report: land clearing puts Queensland’s threatened species in peril

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Friday, July 21, 2017

    Independent report: land clearing puts Queensland’s threatened species in peril

    An independent scientific report released today reveals the dangers to Queensland’s threatened species caused by land clearing.

    Environment Minister Steven Miles said the independent report Scientific review of the impacts of land clearing on threatened species in Queensland sounded the alarm for a number of threatened species.

    “The level of tree clearing in Queensland is very concerning. Of all the deforestation hotspots in the world, Queensland is the only one in a developed nation,” Mr Miles said.

    “This report paints a disturbing picture of how land clearing causes species death and habitat loss, and reduces the resilience of endangered animal and plant species to adapt to climate change.

    “It shows that any further land clearing will put more threatened species at threat of extinction, impact on streams, rivers, wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef marine lagoon, and will contribute to climate change impacts.

    “It's not good enough, that's why we introduced sensible tree clearing laws to the Parliament last year.

    “Land-clearing rates doubled in Queensland in the first two years of the LNP government. In 2012, the LNP’s Andrew Cripps said that existing laws would not be enforced, existing investigations would be canned and that any existing charges would be dropped.

    “In the first two years of the LNP Government, tree clearing nearly doubled – up to nearly 300,000 hectares of trees per year.

    “That's an area more than twice the size of Brisbane. Or 10 times the size of the city of Rockhampton.

    “The LNP should be ashamed of themselves for voting down these important reforms that would lower our emissions and protect habitat for our native wildlife.

    “The Palaszczuk Government remains committed to stopping broadscale tree clearing in Qld and we will take that position to the next election.”

    Queensland's Species Technical Committee chairperson, Dr John Neldner said the committee of scientists provided recommendations to the Government on the conservation status of threatened plant and animal species in Queensland.

    “Land clearing has been directly responsible for two plant species becoming extinct in the wild, and has been identified as a threatening process for many of the 739 threatened flora species and 210 threatened fauna species in Queensland,” Dr Neldner said.

    "Accurate and up-to-date assessment of the status is important for setting conservation priorities and protecting Queensland's unique biodiversity."

    Mr Miles said the government valued the information the report provided and will consider its findings in deciding future actions to protect Queensland’s threatened species.

    The report is publicly available online at https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/threatened-species.

    ENDS

    Media contact: Katharine Wright 0422 580 342