|Late last week, a narrow majority of Queensland MPs voted against protection for Queensland’s forests, trees and wildlife. What they didn’t count on was us. People like you and I, building something unstoppable: tens of thousands of people united to protect Queensland forests.
It’s a huge disappointment. This legislation is desperately needed to reduce unchecked deforestation that threatens native wildlife, our climate and the Great Barrier Reef. But real change is a marathon, not a sprint.
We need to make this an election issue. 42 members still voted ‘yes’ to restore the laws. And when the next state election comes around, Queenslanders will know where our elected MPs stood on nature protection laws.
We knew the vote would come down to the wire. To pass the law, the Queensland Government needed the support of the crossbenchers, and after two nights of debate, Independent MP Billy Gordon unexpectedly sided with the Katter Party and the LNP to vote down the legislation.
But community support for Queensland’s forests has exploded. In just six days, more than 25,000 of us signed our petition calling on MPs to make the right choice. Our amazing volunteer Maddy delivered your name to the Speaker of the House, Peter Wellington, the morning before MPs debated whether to restore the laws. They know we have a movement of people ready to act for our forests, our climate and our Reef. Share this image on Facebook (and tag QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) to show your commitment for Queensland’s forests.
Now the Queensland Government is feeling the consequences of a lack of unity. They promised the World Heritage committee, UNESCO, that these laws would be restored to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Clearing trees increases the amount of soil and sediment that runs off land into our waterways and out to the Reef, smothering corals and seagrasses. Without tackling tree clearing, our Reef risks being listed as ‘in-danger’ – which would be a major issue for the Government. So, we’ll be exploring every option to stop this with all our movement allies.
Thank you for raising your voice. Together we will make sure Queensland’s forests remain an important issue that our politicians can’t ignore.