THE VMA FAILS TO PROTECT VEGETATION IN SOUTH EAST QLD
BREC ALERTAugust 23, 2000
THE VEGETATION MANAGEMENT ACT FAILS TO PROTECT VEGETATION IN SOUTH EAST QLD
By proclaiming the gutted Vegetation Management Act today, the Premier has signed the official death warrant for wildlife in SEQ.
Out of 2.68 Million Ha of remnant vegetation in SEQ Bioregion only 6,600 ha will be protected by the Qld Vegetation Management Act (VMA).
Nothing will be protected in Brisbane City and Logan City or in the Beaudesert, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Kilcoy, Maroochy, Pine Rivers and Redlands Shires.
In the 18 Local Authorities making up the SEQ2001 Region only 2,567 ha will be protected which isonly 0.32% of the 798,551 ha of remnant vegetation
1. The VMA fails to protect urban land from degradation which includes all land designated for urban, future urban or rural residental purposes. This means the VMA will not stop clearing on slopes, acid sulphate soils or in areas that would lead to salinity in urban areas.
2. The VMA Section 84((1)f and h make most tree clearing unassessable in SEQ.
If IPA says that something is "exempt development" a planning scheme cannot make it assessable. The legal question is does this mean all tree clearing under Sec84 a-h is unassessable or exempt development under IPA ? If this is so then councils will find it hard to expand beyond the bare minimum under the VMA.
3. There has been no explanation of how the broader components, if any, in the Regional Vegetation Management Plan can be acted on by Local Authorities. No mechanism is detailed to implement RVMP outcomes if assessment code is not triggered. Assessment will only be triggered for endangered ecosystems which means the RVMP will have no real effect of vegetation management in this region.
4. Despite Sec 7 the VMA, IPA and the Amended Local Govt Act will restrict existing measures by councils to protect vegetation such as local laws, VPOs. This will stop councils from protecting against "pre-emptive" clearing .
WHAT TO DO ?