SLATS reporting shows reduction in tree clearing

Published Friday, 16 December, 2022 at 12:00 PM

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Resources Minister Scott Stewart today released the annual Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) reporting, which shows overall clearing in 2019-20 has fallen nearly 40 per cent over the previous year.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s responsible vegetation management laws provide greater protection to remnant and high value regrowth vegetation,” he said.

“We will continue to work with industry and the community to ensure land clearing continues to reduce.

“Clearing in remnant and high value regrowth vegetation regulated areas reduced more than 50 per cent compared to the previous year.

“For the first time, areas of new regrowth have also been reported, with 42,575 hectares identified. This is in addition to about 8 million hectares of existing regrowth in the state.

“In 2018 the Palaszczuk Government legislated strengthened land clearing laws to provide greater protection to remnant and high value regrowth vegetation.”

“These reforms were opposed by the LNP.” 

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said tree clearing in reef catchment areas had decreased 16 per cent on the previous year.

“We know there’s more to do to reduce clearing, which is why our government established the $500 million Land Restoration Fund, and Queensland is now the nation’s leading jurisdiction in carbon farming,” Minister Scanlon said.

Minister Scanlon said an independent panel of experts established to review the factors behind land clearing identified in SLATS reporting would soon provide its final recommendations to government on protecting land cover and biodiversity.

“The panel of experts was asked what incentives and other measures the Queensland Government should adopt to encourage landholders to keep trees in the ground, reducing emissions and protecting biodiversity,” she said.

“While it’s encouraging to see a decrease on last year’s figures, we know more can be done.”

The 2019-20 Statewide Landcover and Trees Study report and further information will be progressively uploaded throughout the day and can be found here.

ENDS

Media contact: Francis DelaCruz - 0420 592 078