The Queensland Liberal National Party’s vegetation management policy will ‘guarantee the slaughter of 45 million animals including koalas that are killed by deforestation in the state each year,’ the Wilderness Society said after the party quietly released its policy online yesterday.
‘The LNP’s vegetation management policy locks in the habitat destruction and animal slaughter that Campbell Newman unleashed when he let loose the bulldozers on Queensland in his devastating one term as Premier,’ said Wilderness Society’s Queensland campaign manager Gemma Plesman.
‘There is nothing balanced about the Queensland LNP’s vegetation management policy, which guarantees the slaughter of 45 million of our native animals including koalas every year – that’s one animal killed every second.
‘Deforestation in Australia is spiralling out of control, led by Queensland. Australia is the second worst country for species loss, according to a recent study published in Nature.
‘Deforestation in Queensland is a national disgrace. Queensland now ranks alongside the Amazon, Borneo and the Congo as a world top-10 deforestation hotspot.
‘More than 1.2 million hectares of forest and bushland have been razed in just four years since the Newman LNP Government let loose the bulldozers on Queensland. An area the size of the Gabba is being bulldozed every three minutes.
‘Deforestation increased another 100,000 hectares in just one year to 395,000 hectares in 2015-16, according to the recently released Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) figures. WWF-Australia estimates that 44.7 million animals were killed in that time.
‘Forty per cent of deforestation in 2015-16 happened in Great Barrier Reef catchments, threatening our already struggling natural treasure with more muddy run-off and climate change.
‘Deforestation has a double impact on climate change. Cleared trees can no longer suck carbon pollution out of the air and they also release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as they are burnt or rot. Queensland’s land clearing has created 45 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2015-16. That’s like adding more than 10 million cars to Australia’s already crowded roads.
‘If the LNP wants to review its policy, then it has a few weeks before the election to tell the Queensland people that killing millions of our native animals every year is just not acceptable,’ Ms Plesman said.