Media Releases - 13 April 2019

Wilderness Society launches field campaign for nature and climate in Queensland

Wilderness Society staff and volunteers are door-knocking their local community today to remind voters of the environmental legacy of the coalition government and to engage with voters about the urgent need for environmental reform.

“Queensland is in the midst of a deforestation crisis," said the Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager, Gemma Plesman. “A Gabba-sized area of forest and bushland is bulldozed every three minutes, killing a native animal every second, causing carbon pollution and muddying the Great Barrier Reef’s waters. Queensland’s deforestation rate puts us on a list of global deforestation fronts—making Australia the only developed country on that list.

“The current federal environment law—the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conservation (EPBC) Act—is failing to protect threatened species, including koalas and icons like the Great Barrier Reef.

“We are seeing hectare after hectare of important habitat bulldozed, which is driving species like the koala to the brink of extinction and the EPBC Act is failing to stop this.”

On Wednesday night, the Wilderness Society and Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) hosted a candidates forum with local candidates for Bonner, in Manly. The theme of the forum was 'nature and climate', and over 200 community members attended. Many members signed up to door-knock in their local electorate afterwards.

“It’s clear that the community is fed up with the lack of action from their Members of Parliament as they see the health of their local environment diminish. They want action and leadership,” said Gemma.

Candidates for Labor and the Greens were represented at the forum on Wednesday—both announcing their parties' commitment to an new national environment act and an independent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The community were outraged, however, at the absence of their local member, Liberal MP Ross Vasta.

“The absence of the Bonner Federal MP, Ross Vasta, was a slap in the face for local community who are desperate for change. Despite what the coalition thinks, this will be one of the biggest vote-changers at the federal election on 18 May," Gemma added.

The Places You Love Alliance, which includes The Wilderness Society, is calling for an overhaul of Australia’s national environment laws and institutions to address the declining health of the environment. The Wilderness Society will be rolling out the next phase of their federal campaign to secure new laws for nature by unveiling a crowdfunded billboard in Bonner this week.

More information

Contact: Tim Beshara (0437 878 786) and Gemma Plesman (0423 044 431).

Learn more about our campaign to change the laws of nature.