Media Release from Queensland Conservation Council

5 December 2012

Queensland’s state and regional conservation groups meeting in Brisbane today have demanded that Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan and other Queensland Labor MPs act to prevent the handing over of environmental approval powers to the States.

The so-called “slashing green tape” agenda is being considered at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra this Friday. The Business sector has been pressuring the Federal government to push ahead with plans to hand the Federal Environment Minister’s approval powers under the EPBC Act* to the states and territories as soon as March next year.

“We have been witnessing a wholesale removal of environmental protections in Queensland on a completely unprecedented scale and at a pace that is breath-taking – and certainly beyond the capacity of the community to respond”, said Toby Hutcheon Executive Director of Queensland Conservation Council.

It is inconceivable that the Federal Labor government would consider walking away from its national and international environmental obligations at any time but to do so now is simply an act of total recklessness”.

“If you look at any of the accepted indicators such as threatened species, ecosystem health or habitat loss Queensland’s environment is in a state of crisis,” said Australian Rainforest Conservation Society President Aila Keto.

Both state and federal governments are going entirely in the wrong direction – they should be strengthening environmental protections not weakening them”.

“Our organisations together represent tens of thousands of Queenslanders who are extremely alarmed at the prospect of the economic development driven Newman government having sole responsibility for the future of Queensland’s special places like Cape York and World Heritage areas like the Great Barrier Reef” said Dr Tim Seelig Queensland Campaign Manager for the Wilderness Society.

We will mobilise our members over the coming months to make it clear to Queensland Federal Labor MPs that they need to stop this reckless agenda and take responsibility for protecting Australia’s environment”.

Contact: Toby Hutcheon: 0419 664503 – Aila Keto: 0414 760583 – Dr Tim Seelig:  0439 201183

* Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)


Groups represented:

Queensland Conservation Council (QCC)

GECKO (Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council)

Logan & Albert Conservation Association (LACA)

Brisbane Region Environments Council (BREC)

Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC)

Capricorn Conservation Council (CCC)

North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC)

Cairns & Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC)

Friends of the Earth (Brisbane)

The Wilderness Society Inc (Qld)

Australian Rainforest Conservation Society (ARCS)

National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (WPSQ)

Birdlife Southern Queensland

Birds Queensland

Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment (HOPE) Inc

Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS)

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