BAAM, Brisbane’s lead ecological consultancy, is concerned that changes to the State’s Vegetation Management legislation and Water Act will further add to the seemingly inexorable decline in Queenslands biodiversity. Amendment bills to both pieces of legislation were passed in May with the aim of streamlining existing vegetation management laws by removing ‘red tape, complexity and impractical restrictions’ while also benefiting biodiversity conservation. BAAM’s concerns mirror those of other leading Queensland scientists in decrying any legislation that leads to further loss of native vegetation in regions where extensive clearing has already caused a decline in biodiversity. (http://concernedqldscientists.wordpress.com/).
Martin Taylor of WWF has estimated that some 2,000,000 ha of mature and regrowth bushland is at risk due to the changes.
How any land clearing can benefit biodiversity conservation in this day and age flies in the face of the data available on many extinct, threatened and near threatened species in Australia. And that is not to mention the countless lost heroes of the ecosystem-the terrestrial invertebrates. Land clearing is undeniably the single biggest threat to biodiversity and to environmental health in general. The changes in the Queensland legislation would appear to show little understanding of this fundamental ecological principle.