Media Releases - 22 May 2018

Queensland parliament passes new deforestation laws

  • New laws vital first step for tackling Queensland’s deforestation crisis 
  • Laws end HVA clearing; curtail ‘thinning’ and increase Reef catchment protection 
  • Laws do not protect all rivers or threatened species habitat, & exemptions remain   

The Queensland Parliament’s new deforestation laws are a vital first step to ending the state’s deforestation crisis, the Wilderness Society said after the legislation was passed late tonight. 

“Today the Queensland Government showed leadership in passing new laws to tackle the state’s deforestation crisis which is seeing a Gabba-sized area of forest and bushland bulldozed every three minutes,” said the Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman. “Queensland’s deforestation rate puts us on a list of global deforestation fronts - making Australia the only developed country on that list. The deforestation of 395,000ha in 2015-16 had a devastating impact on wildlife and the climate, with nearly 45 million animals killed; that’s one animal killed every second. 

That deforestation created 45 million tonnes of carbon emissions; like adding more than 10 million cars to Australia’s already crowded roads. “These laws are a vital first step in stopping Queensland’s globally significant deforestation crisis but there are some loopholes in the legislation that need to be closed if these laws are going to truly end Queensland’s deforestation crisis. We would like to see the protection of all threatened species habitat and vegetation around all rivers, as well as the curbing of deforestation in Category X ‘exempt’ areas. There is more work to be done.” “But right now we can all celebrate the fact that a decisive first step has been taken to ending Queensland’s deforestation crisis.”  

For further comment contact: Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman on 0423 044 431 For photos and video of Queensland deforestation and briefing paper visit