MEDIA RELEASE: Land clearing in Australia is hurting the reef - Senate Estimates

At Senate estimates today officials from the Department of the Environment and Energy have confirmed that under current national environmental law the Federal Government is unable to act on the large scale land clearing which is occurring in Queensland and New South Wales. 

In the past few years is has been reported that Australia joined the top ten nations in the world for large scale land clearing. It’s not a list you want to be on. It has had a significant impact on Australia’s environment and yet Federal Environmental law is unable to deal with clearing without legislative change.

Labor took to the last election a policy to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) to specifically regulate land clearing. But this Conservative Government has no intention of doing a thing about it.

When it comes to environmental protection this Government is proud to be asleep at the wheel. It’s a national disgrace. Action needs to be taken.

These are land clearing rules which were introduced by state governments back when John Howard was Prime Minister. They were a critical part of Australia protecting biodiversity and reaching targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The unwinding of those land clearing laws by New South Wales and Queensland Conservative Governments has left large tracks of Australia unprotected



Tony Burke