Are Biodiversity Offset Plans Saving Our Natural Heritage?
The Queensland Government has released the Queensland Biodiversity Offset Policy.
The policy is a specific-issue offsets policy under the Queensland Government Environmental Offsets Policy and is administered by the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
The purpose of this policy is to increase the long-term protection and viability of the state’s biodiversity, by limiting residual impacts from development on areas possessing State significant biodiversity values.
State significant biodiversity values are listed in Appendix 1 of the policy.
Under the Biodiversity Offset Policy, there will be certain development activities that might trigger the requirement for a biodiversity offset.
The policy will commence on 3 October 2011.
ACTIVISTS CAN’T BEAR NEWMAN’S KOALA PROTECTION PLAN
March 11, 2012
THE Liberal National Party leader, Campbell Newman, has been left red-faced after calling koalas ”bears”.
Mr Newman was announcing a $26.5 million pledge to help preserve the koala when he made the blooper yesterday.
”We do have an announcement today about $26 million of funding for koala bears and their protection over the next four years,” he told reporters.
Asked if he realised koalas were not bears, he replied: ”I know, but we all like to call them that.”
Mr Newman said the LNP would put aside $22.5 million to acquire koala habitats for preservation, $3.2 million for researching and $800,000 to help organisations’ rescue and rehabilitation services.
Mr Newman’s policy was criticised by the Australian Koala Foundation. Its chief executive, Deborah Tabart, said throwing money at buying koala habitats was not the way to stop the decline of the animals’ numbers in south-east Queensland.
She said the government needed to update and correct its mapping of koala habitats and numbers.
Ms Tabart said the foundation had spent $8 million researching koalas, and government money alone was not the answer. Koalas should be listed as critically endangered in south-east Queensland and vulnerable across the state, she said.
”Throwing money at this will not solve the problem,” Ms Tabart said.
”Koalas get sick and die because their trees have been cut down. AKF has given the Queensland government a list of trees that must be protected but that has fallen on deaf ears [with] Labor and now clearly the LNP.
”Currently the koala is listed as vulnerable in south-east Queensland, which means koalas in other areas are listed as common and they get absolutely no protection from coal seam gas mining, coal mining or the development industry.”
She said Mr Newman was avoiding tackling the biggest threat to koala numbers, which was mining and land development.