The gutting of Queensland’s land clearing laws could force the rest of the country to work harder to reduce carbon emissions, Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne confirmed at a Senate estimates session today.
“Campbell Newman has made it easier for land clearing to occur, which means other sectors of the economy will have to work harder to reduce emissions,” Senator Milne said.
“Departmental officials confirmed at estimates today that they expected emissions to increase in Queensland as a result of the weakened laws, but have not estimated the scale of the increase.
”Australia achieved its Kyoto target effortlessly thanks to the reduction of land clearing emissions, principally in Queensland. Now land clearing laws have been weakened we could see a substantial increase in those emissions.”
Australian Greens environment spokesperson Larissa Waters said, “by winding back native vegetation protection, Campbell Newman is not only undermining efforts to tackle climate change but also destroying valuable koala and quoll habitat.”
“This is the latest in a long line of environmental attacks by Premier Newman, including allowing logging in national parks and winding back river protections; and is a taste of the anti-environment agenda that would come under an extreme Abbott Government,” Senator Waters said.
"It is ironic that Premier Newman is happy to massively increase greenhouse gas emissions from Queensland from coal, CSG and land clearance, but will be the first to have his hand out to the Commonwealth to fund disaster relief from extreme weather events fuelled by climate change," Senator Milne said.