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New tree clearing laws introduced to Parliament
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today introduced tree-clearing reforms to Parliament. Among the changes, the proposed laws will:
- ban broadscale clearing of remnant vegetation for agriculture
- expand the “high value regrowth” that is protected from vegetation that hasn’t been cleared since the beginning of 1990 – 28 year-old trees – to 15-year-old trees. This means an extra 232,000 ha of trees will be protected.
- increase, up to almost treble, the maximum penalties courts could impose for illegal clearing to more than half-a-million-dollars
- give compliance officers more powers and enforcement tools
- require farmers to get approval to thin vegetation
- still allow farmers to harvest fodder trees to feed livestock.
New, more accurate vegetation maps were also released today for the entire state, the first major review of major update to vegetation and ecosystem mapping in five years.
The improved maps now reflect the best available sciences and will support landholders to manage their land.
Landholders will continue to have certainty about what they will be able to clear in the future because we are retaining Property Map of Assessable Vegetation (PMAV).
Some aspects of the proposed legislation take effect immediately, and the Bill will now go to committee hearings, including public hearings and submissions.
Contact: Amity Sturwohld
Phone: 3199 8245