(QldGovSpin) Flying Pigs Sighted As Howard Govt Claims Tree Clearing Success

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 06/09/2004 - 21:48

A Federal Government claim that it had showed leadership on land clearing ignored the fact that it had failed to provide a single cent of money it had promised in a joint package with Queensland, Premier Peter Beattie said today.

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Premier & Trade, Peter Beattie
premier@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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06/09/04

"The Queensland Government has provided all the initiative, all the planning, all the money and all the action to stop broadscale remnant tree clearing in the State," said Mr Beattie.

"Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell is claiming that a World Wildlife Fund and Humane Society International study called 'Small Steps for Nature' is an endorsement of the Howard Government's leadership on land clearing.

"Senator Campbell's claim is the sort of rank dishonesty and hypocrisy which results in a proliferation in the sightings of flying pigs and in the public's distrust of politicians.

"I am advised the World Wildlife Fund also rejects the claim.

"In May last year the Federal Government and the Queensland Government agreed to a joint tree-clearing adjustment assistance package of up to $150 million, with three key elements:

- $130 million in financial incentives to assist with the transition, or for exit assistance if necessary;

- $12 million in incentives to improve the management of more valuable remnant vegetation;

- $8 million in incentives to develop best practice farm management plans.

"The Federal Government failed to deliver on its promise and Queensland has had to go it alone.

"The 'Small Steps for Nature' report includes details of Queensland's landmark tree-clearing legislation.

"It also points out that Queensland is the only jurisdiction that aims under the general clearing regulatory regime to specifically protect ecosystems that are endangered regionally according to the pre-1750 baseline.

"I call on the Howard Government to provide the $75 million it promised and to stop rewriting history."

Contact: Steve Bishop 3224 4500

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