[QldGovSpin] Clearing Ballot Opens For Queensland Landholders

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 24/05/2004 - 15:07

Landholders will be able to start applying from next week for a ballot to do the last broadscale clearing of remnant vegetation in Queensland, Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

Natural Resources, Mines & Energy, Stephen Robertson

21/05/04

Mr Robertson said that a transitional cap of 500,000 hectares had been established while broadscale clearing was being phased out.

"The historic vegetation management laws recently passed by Queensland Parliament mean that broadscale clearing of remnant vegetation will end by 31 December 2006," he said.

"The transitional cap will include successful applications that were made before 16 May 2003, when the halt on new clearing applications was announced.

"Once all those applications are assessed, the approved area will be subtracted from the cap and the remainder will be on offer through a ballot."

Mr Robertson said landholders would be able to begin applying for the ballot from Monday (24 May), and would have until 31 August 2004 to apply.

"The ballot to determine who will be able to clear the remaining area will be held on 17 September 2004, to allow landholders the maximum time possible to complete clearing by the end of 2006," he said.

"The ballot will be divided across Queensland's bioregional boundaries, and applications will be assessed against the regional vegetation management codes developed from the work done by regional vegetation management committees in recent years.

"Applications will be assessed in order of ballot selection until the quota is reached.

"There is no right of appeal if a person's ballot is not chosen - however, people will have a right of appeal if their ballot is selected, but the department refuses their application or approves only part of it after it is assessed."

Mr Robertson said the total amount of land available under the ballot in each of the regions would be announced soon.

"There will be restrictions on the area landholders can apply to clear in certain regions, including the Central Queensland Coast, Wet Tropics, New England Tableland and South East Queensland bioregions, where the area of land applied for cannot exceed 250 hectares," he said.

"In any of the other regions, landholders may apply to clear up to 2,500 hectares.

"From today, landholders who want to participate in the ballot should call 1800 999 367 to obtain an application form and information kit," he said.

"They will also be able to use this number to make an appointment with a vegetation management officer to get more information.

"Using the freecall number will ensure all applicants are treated fairly, and receive timely and current advice."

The application form and information kit can also be downloaded from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy website at http://www.nrme.qld.gov.au/vegetation.

MEDIA: Penny Fox 3896 3694

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