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Land clearing laws are there for a reason



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THE HON TONY BURKE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR WATSON

THE HON MARK BUTLER MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE

LAND CLEARING LAWS ARE THERE FOR A REASON

Labor is alarmed by reports of large scale land clearing within the Great Barrier Reef catchment. Land clearing laws are put in place for a number of reasons, one of the most significant reasons being the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is currently being attacked effectively from every side: from the west by the Australian Government failing to act on land clearing, from the east by cutting the Coral Sea marine national park in half and from above by refusing to act on climate change. Reefs require clean water, low in pollutants and sediments, to repair and thrive. Land clearing flushes these pollutants and sediment straight into our national treasure and surrounding reef systems.

The Australian Government has taken to the World Heritage Committee a plan that involves acting on land clearing and yet members of the Liberal National Party have previously voted against these changes in state Parliament.

The Liberal National Party can’t make one statement on the world stage and in Canberra then behave completely differently in the Queensland Parliament.

Ultimately you don’t deliver the long term health of the reef without acting on climate change and you don’t provide resilience for the reef without acting on land clearing.

Land clearing deprives the reef of the clean water it requires to bounce back from bleaching events.

Reef catchments in North Queensland already under enormous pressure. Princess Charlotte bay in particular is a safe haven for turtles and dugongs. It’s a place where water quality should be a priority for the Turnbull Government.

We need to stop land clearing that is damaging the reef. If the Turnbull Government fails to do that then Labor will take action. If the current laws aren’t strong enough then Labor will seek to change the law.

The Turnbull Government can’t buy it’s way out of reef protection. We need real action on climate change, marine parks in our oceans that protect the reef and to stop broad scale land clearing if it is damaging the reef.

MONDAY, 14 MAY 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:

LUCY CARUSO (BUTLER) 0408 803 428

GRACE CRAMER (BURKE) 0431 021 105

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra