Conservation groups have come together today to highlight important environment matters facing Queensland, and how, through collaboration, we can ensure the right protections are in place.
Hosting the environmental roundtable, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said collaboration was important when it comes to ensuring Queensland’s environment is protected.
“Today we have discussed a number of critical issues, including threatened species, climate change, on-ground conservation projects, and protected areas,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to protecting our precious environment, and as Queensland is experiencing severe bushfires and extreme conditions never before seen so early in the fire season, it is clear that climate change is affecting us all.
“Queensland’s environment is unique, we are considered to be one of the most naturally diverse places in the world.
“This is why it is important to have all groups come together to discuss how we can collaboratively work towards protecting Queensland’s unique environment now and into the future.”
Minister Enoch said it has been a big year for Queensland’s environment, with the Palaszczuk Government delivering on a number of commitments including new laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef, creating a new class of protected area – the first of its kind in Australia – and establishing the $500 million Land Restoration Fund.
“Our Government’s new reef protection regulations, which came into effect on 1 December, will help improve water quality flowing into the Great Barrier Reef. We know water quality is a key threat to the Reef’s health and the thousands of jobs that rely on it, and these laws will help ensure the Reef is protected.
“Earlier this year, Queensland became the first state in Australia to create Special Wildlife Reserves – a move that provides national park level protection for private land of exceptional natural and cultural value.”
Minister Enoch also said Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan, released last month, outlines a path forward to deal with single-use plastics, like straws and cutlery, in Queensland.
“This new plan is part of a suite of other initiatives we have implemented this year that are improving how we manage waste in Queensland.
“In July we released a new Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, underpinned by a waste levy that came into effect on July 1, which presents a vision for Queensland to become a zero-waste society.
“This, combined with the incredible success we’re seeing with the Container Refund Scheme, is helping increase recycling in Queensland while also reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, and that ends up in the environment as litter.”
Minister Enoch thanked all of the conservation groups for being a part of today’s roundtable.
“We value the incredible work these conservation groups do, to advocate for the environment, volunteer their time in vital projects, and help build awareness and inspire action for a better future,” she said.
Queensland Conservation Council Chair Kevin Guy said their organisation was committed to protecting the environment, and advocating with government was one way of helping achieve that goal.
“At a time of unprecedented challenges facing Queensland’s environment, QCC and representatives of environment organisations throughout the state appreciate having the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with the Minister,” he said.