Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Palaszczuk Government committed to protecting wildlife

    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Friday, March 09, 2018

    Palaszczuk Government committed to protecting wildlife

    The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on a major election commitment with work underway to establish its flagship $500 million Land Restoration Fund.

    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the announcement was a clear signal that the Palaszczuk Government was serious about its commitment to directly support land sector carbon projects in Queensland, while creating new jobs in a growing industry.

    “This initiative is about leveraging emerging carbon markets to supply high quality offsets and delivering important environmental, economic and social benefits,” Ms Enoch said.

    “These co-benefits could include establishing new and expanded koala habitats, protection of threatened species, rehabilitating and restoring wetlands and waterways, and helping to drive greater agricultural productivity.

    “Work had now commenced to implement the Fund, with a Project Management Office being established in the Department of Environment and Science.

    “The office will establish an expert advisory board to develop options for the Fund’s design, and engage and work with stakeholders to deliver a program.”

    Ms Enoch said the work of the Fund would complement the suite of initiatives being delivered by the Palaszczuk Government that included a target 50% renewable energy by 2030, setting an interim emissions reduction target of at least 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving zero net emissions by 2050.

    “These are just some of the Palaszczuk Government’s initiatives that are protecting Queensland’s natural environment, including the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Of course another key contributor to the work is delivering on our election commitment to tighten tree clearing laws.

    “These laws, introduced in Queensland Parliament yesterday, will help us meet our international commitments to protect the Great Barrier Reef and tackle climate change, while also protecting the incredible biodiversity of our state’s unique environment.

    “Under the former LNP Government, the laws that protected our environment were ripped away, and this had a disastrous impact.

    “Nearly 400,000 hectares of vegetation were cleared in 2015-16 – an area more than twice the size of Brisbane.

    “These new laws are about responsible management and will still allow landholders to maintain their land while at the same time protect our natural assets.”

    Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Dr Tim Seelig said the Queensland Government was moving to address problematic land clearing rates.

    “Yesterday was an important milestone in resetting land clearing laws and policies in Queensland,” Dr Seelig said.

    “We simply can’t keep bulldozing our native woodlands. That’s not a pathway to a healthy, sustainable future.”

    Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was also committed to expanding carbon farming in Queensland, as part of the Queensland Climate Transition Strategy.

    “We know the estimated value of carbon farming in Queensland under current settings is $4.7 billion, and that it could be worth $8 billion to Queensland by 2030,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Carbon farming involves management of vegetation, land, animal, soil and fire to store carbon and avoid greenhouse gas emissions being released. It is an alternative to land clearing and is a new source of revenue for farmers.”

     

    Media contact:0437 859 987