26 September 2023

Land clearing panel to see ahead

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Queensland Chief Scientist, Hugh Possingham has announced that an independent panel of experts has been established to review the factors behind land clearing.

Professor Possingham (pictured), who chairs the panel, said it had been specifically tasked to identify incentives or other innovative mechanisms that could be used to help avoid clearing.

“We’re working to better understand where and why native vegetation is being cleared and the different types of clearing in Queensland,” Professor Possingham said.

“With that information in hand, the panel can work out what reforms or incentives may be introduced to enhance the protection and regeneration of native vegetation, while ensuring famers and the economy prosper.”

He said land clearing affected regional communities, habitats, trade, climate change action and the Great Barrier Reef and was important to the future of the State.

“The independent panel comprises recognised experts in agriculture, ecology, law, social science, economics, and First Nations perspectives, and has already convened three meetings in Brisbane and travelled to the Taroom area in the Brigalow Belt,” Professor Possingham said.

He said the panel had consulted with peak groups across five sectors (agriculture, environment, First Nations, resources and infrastructure, and Councils) to understand stakeholder perspectives and obtain ideas for solutions.

“The panel will deliver a draft discussion paper to the Queensland Government by August and a final report by the end of the year,” Professor Possingham said.

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