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Queensland’s new land-clearing laws are all stick and no carrot (but it’s time to do better)

Philippa England writes in The Conversation (29.5.18) that Queensland's new land-clearing laws are a missed opportunity for collaborative, sustainable approaches to land management and environmental protection.

'The Queensland government passed legislation last month to prevent the clearing of high-value regrowth vegetation on freehold and Indigenous land. The move has been deeply unpopular with many landholders. They have argued that they are footing the bill for the commmunity’s environmental aspirations – without compensation.

'The government’s intention was to reinstate a “responsible vegetation management framework”, broadly in line with legislation first passed in 2004, but which the Newman government repealed in 2013.

'But time has moved on since 2004. Instead of relying on a heavy-handed regulatory approach, a mix of carrots and sticks might have generated economic value for landholders, and reduced land clearing into the bargain.

'... With a little more preparation and creative thinking, the government might have been able to spare our vegetation, create a huge pool of lucrative carbon offsets ready to market to the world, and provide compensation to affected landholders.'

 

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