A new article in web-based forum The Conversation this morning covers accelerated land-clearing in Queensland. After regulations were put in place in the 1990s to slow the loss of native vegetation and identify regional ecosystems of conservation concern, clearing laws were relaxed under the conservative Newman government which came to power in 2012. The Labor government that was returned in 2015 had promised to reinstate the clearing regulations, but is constrained by a narrow majority and the need for support from two independents. The Conversation article summarises the state of play and points out that a continuation of current, very high rates of clearing will undo much of the benefit from national and state conservation programs, including those aimed at improving water quality for the Great Barrier Reef.


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