ABC: Land clearing laws spark backlash from Queensland farmers as Labor pledges federal takeover - 160514

Federal Labor's push to clamp down on tree clearing has created backlash in farming communities in the key state of Queensland, putting the Opposition on a collision course with rural electorates. As part of its new-look climate change policy, Labor has threatened to override state governments that fail to put the brakes on vegetation clearing. Clearing involves bulldozing trees, or ripping them from the ground with a large metal chain, to make way for agriculture or development. Read more. 

ABC LATELINE: Rural backlash against Labor climate change policy to slow vegetation clearing - 160514

The Federal Opposition's promise to clamp down on tree clearing has angered some Queensland farming communities. EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has spent most of the week campaigning in the key state of Queensland. But Labor's promise to clamp down on tree clearing has been creating a backlash in rural communities. As part of its climate change policy, the Federal Opposition has threatened to override state governments that fail to put the brakes on vegetation clearing. According to the Queensland Government, the state is responsible for 90 per cent of Australia's carbon emissions from land use, but local farmers feel the policy is being aimed squarely at them, as Marty McCarthy reports.  Read more. 

SMH: Farmer Ian Turnbull mentally ill when he shot environmental officer Glen Turner: court - 160513

Farmer Ian Turnbull had lost capacity for self-control and couldn't tell right from wrong when he fatally shot environmental officer Glen Turner, a court has heard. The lifelong farmer, 81, feared his family would be "financially ruined" by successive investigations and prosecutions by authorities over illegal land clearing on their various properties around Croppa Creek, north of Moree, in north-eastern NSW. A jury will have to decide if this alleged mental impairment, caused by an underlying major depressive disorder, was so substantial that it reduces his culpability from murder to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Read more.

CENTRAL WESTERN DAILY:  Concern raised that draft conservation plan poses risks to the Central West - 160509

NOTHING is considered too precious to destroy is a sentiment that is one of many flaws of the state government’s draft biodiversity package according to NSW Nature Conservation CEO Kate Smolski. Ms Smolski was in Orange on Friday and Dubbo on Saturday to explain the risks to the region if major state conservation and planning law reforms are introduced by the NSW government. “The Baird government has major changes in store that will very likely result in further losses of native wildlife in the Central West and more degradation of local soils and water resources,” she said. Read more. 

SMH: 'That would be tragic': Worries new land-clearing laws will 'gut' biodiversity - 160506

Troy Grant, NSW Nationals leader and Deputy Premier, was more than a tad optimistic when he called for "natural opponents" of the government's new biodiversity conservation bills to use the two-month consultation period to improve them. The new bills were "a balanced and very good outcome", and those who took them as a signal to let rip with their D9 bulldozers didn't belong in NSW, the former police inspector declared. "If they want to be a cowboy, they can move to Queensland," Grant said on Tuesday. Read more. 

SMH - Farmer Ian Turnbull accused of murdering environmental officer Glen Turner a champion: court – 160505

A farm worker who alerted accused murderer Ian Turnbull to the presence of environmental officer Glen Turner on his property says he considers the farmer to be a "champion" and still holds him in the highest regard. Ivan Maas told the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday that he considered Mr Turner's attempts to serve stop-work notices for illegal land clearing on him and Mr Turnbull to be "harassment".  Mr Maas worked on Turnbull family properties at Croppa Creek, near Moree, from 2011. His duties included clearing native vegetation using bulldozers and burning the timber stacks. Read more. 

SMH - Turnbull government's latest Direct Action climate auction spends up big on trees - 160505

More than half a billion dollars has been spent in the latest auction under the Turnbull government's Direct Action climate change plan, with the vast majority of the money committed to tree projects. The results mean that about two-thirds of the $2.55 billion set aside under the government's climate change policy to pay farmers and business to cut greenhouse gas emissions has now been handed out. In the third auction of the emissions reduction fund – a central plank of the Direct Action scheme – about 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide savings were bought from 73 projects at an average price of $10.23 a tonne. Read more. 

AAP - NSW farmer's 'shocking' comments - 160504

NSW farmer Ian Turnbull was overheard saying on a two-way radio that he'd "just pumped a couple of shots" at Glen Turner the day it's alleged he murdered the environmental compliance officer, a court has heard.  A farmhand who was working at one of the Turnbull family's properties on the day in July 2014 when Mr Turner was shot has told Turnbull's trial it was hard to discern emotion from the 81-year-old's voice over the radio. "I thought he was joking. I was shocked and confused," Robert Maas told the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday. Read more.

FARM WEEKLY: Fitzgibbon defends ALP land clearing laws - 160504

SHADOW Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has hit back at the Coalition’s brazen attack on Labor’s climate change policy saying farmers should consider future commercial opportunities and not get distracted by short-term political “fearmongering”. Last week Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce led a blistering attack on the ALP’s policy proposal to introduce federal powers that override the State’s on land clearing laws, if elected at the July 2 poll, which also angered farm groups. But Mr Fitzgibbon rejected allegations farm operations would be strangled by excessive red tape from an added layer of federal legal oversight. Read more. 

SMH - NSW government promises biodiversity win from land clearing laws - 160503

NSW "is not Queensland" when it comes to a controversial overhaul of land clearing laws, the state government has insisted, while promising to reverse decades of biodiversity decline. Announcing laws that will give greater flexibility to farmers, the government said they would not result in broadscale clearing witnessed when Campbell Newman's Queensland government overhauled its regime. The laws saw almost 300,000 hectares of bushland cleared in 2013-14 alone. But Environment Minister Mark Speakman said: "This is not Queensland." Read more. 

THE GUARDIAN: NSW land-clearing law will let farmers clear native vegetation with no approval - 160503

Government says change will improve biodiversity but conservation groups say it means ‘disaster for nature in NSW’ and a return to broadscale clearing. Land clearing regulations are set to be relaxed in NSW, as the government releases draft legislation that would allow farmers to clear native vegetation without approval in many cases, and give others access to “offsets”. It has also committed $240m over five years to pay farmers not to clear land, followed by $70m a year thereafter. Read more. 

AAP: NSW land clearing to be made simpler: govt - 160503

Land clearing in NSW will be made simpler while farmers will get financial incentives for conservation projects under new laws. NSW farmers will get greater freedom to clear land under new laws being proposed by the state government. Private landholders will also receive financial incentives to protect native species, with the government committing to fund a five-year, $240 million private land conservation program. Read more. 

THE CONVERSATION: NSW Government laws to make it easier for farmers to clear land - 160503

The New South Wales Government has unveiled proposed laws which it says would cut red tape for farmers who want to clear their land. Under the draft conservation and biodiversity laws, farmers would be able to clear more land. But in some cases, land clearing would be required to be offset or other land on their property set aside. Read more. 

THE AUSTRALIAN: NSW laws ease way for farmers to clear land - 160503

The NSW government has introduced new laws aimed at making it easier for farmers to clear their land but the Deputy Premier Troy Grant has promised that it will not result in Queensland-style widespread loss of native vegetation. The package sweeps aside regulations introduced by the Carr Labor government which required farmers to “maintain or improve” environmental outcomes when land clearing. Routine farm work, such as clearing along fence lines and around sheds, will be exempt from regulation. Read more. 

THE LAND: NSW releases draft native veg laws - 160503

FINALLY, a draft of new native vegetation laws is on public display, which is a significant step towards fulfilling the Nationals’ promise to repeal NSW’s controversial land clearing regulations by early 2017. This morning NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant - flanked by Environment Minister Mark Speakman and Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair - released the Coalition’s long-awaited Biodiversity Bill draft for public consultation – expected to enter parliament for debate before the end of the year. Read more.

NEWS.COM: NSW land clearing to be made simpler: govt - 160503

NSW farmers will get greater freedom to clear land under new laws being proposed by the state government. Private landholders will also receive financial incentives to protect native species, with the government committing to fund a five-year, $240 million private land conservation program. The draft land-clearing and biodiversity legislation will replace the decade-old Native Vegetation Act, which Environment Minister Mark Speakman says has resulted in less biodiversity in the state. Read more. 

SMH: 'Bombshell': Just one-sixth of rural land-clearing tracked in NSW, ANU's Philip Gibbons says - 160503

Farmers are clearing land six times faster than detected by the NSW government, and most offsets used to compensate for vegetation destruction merely preserve existing conservation areas, according to unpublished research by Philip Gibbons, a leading biodiversity expert. The results are "a bombshell", the NSW Nature Conservation Council said, and come as the government prepares to release its new biodiversity conservation bill for public comment as soon as Tuesday. The findings are based satellite data, which picked up the clearing of 81,000 hectares of land in the state from 2007-2011. Read more.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: It’s all clear for farmers - 160502

NEW state land clearing laws which would scrap the Native Vegetation Act and give “stewardship payments” to farmers who agree not to clear land are expected to be released this week, under the cover of the federal Budget. The plan to replace the Native Vegetation Act with the Biodiversity and Conservation Act has been roundly condemned by green groups but backed by the Nationals, particularly after a report found the current system was skewed against farmers. With federal Labor’s promise last week to legislate against any state land clearing laws it objects to if elected, it sets the scene for a pitched battle between green groups and the Coalition before the federal election. Read more. 

SMH - Robert Strange tells how Glen Turner pleaded to get him medical help - 160428

The colleague of slain environment officer Glen Turner has told how he pleaded in vain with gunman Ian Turnbull to put down his gun and let him seek medical help. On Thursday Robert Strange told the NSW Supreme Court he and Mr Turner had stopped outside a property in Croppa Creek, near Moree, to take photographic evidence of stacks of burning vegetation, on the afternoon of July 29, 2014. Mr Strange said a car pulled up behind them and Mr Turnbull, 81, got out and pointed a rifle at Mr Turner. "I heard a [shot] and I saw that Glen went down on one knee and got back to his feet and said 'Ian, what are you doing?'," Mr Strange told the jury. "Then another shot fired and hit Glen in the upper left chest area." Read more. 

DAILY TELEGRAPH -  Farmer fired fatal shot before saying he would wait for police, witness tells court - 160428

AN environment officer has described how a disgruntled elderly farmer shot his colleague dead and then calmly said: “You can go, I’m going home to wait for the police.” Office of Environment and Heritage employee Robert Strange yesterday told a murder trial how in the 40 minutes before 79-year-old farmer Ian Turnbull shot Glen Turner the gunman stalked his colleague while he tried to fix the situation. Finally as the light faded Mr Turner, who had been shot in the neck and chest, ran for a tree line. Read more. 

ABC - Environment officer pleaded with farmer to put gun down after colleague shot near Moree, court hears - 160428

An environment officer says he pleaded with a farmer to put down his gun, after his colleague was shot on the side of a road in northern New South Wales. Robert Strange is giving evidence at the trial of Ian Turnbull, who is charged with the murder of Glen Turner at Croppa Creek, near Moree, in July 2014. The pair were stopped on the side of the road, documenting a possible case of illegal land clearing on a nearby property. Read more. 

WESTERN ADVOCATE: Roo rescues halt land-clearing at Mount Panorama - 160425

LAND-CLEARING work for the city’s proposed second racetrack is on hold after a mob of kangaroos found their way from the Mount Panorama precinct into the CBD in a panic on Thursday. Several residents pleaded with authorities to rescue the animals as kangaroos were spotted in Russell, Keppel, Havannah and Lambert streets. Western Advocate sports journalist Alex Grant said he saw one hopping along outside the office on Russell Street, before it darted through traffic and into Kings Parade around 1.20pm. Bathurst Kangaroo Project’s Helen Bergen said seven eastern grey kangaroos were spotted in the CBD on Thursday and there were more sightings on Friday. Read more.

QUEENSLAND TIMES: Land clearing laws need to be tougher – 160423

BUNDAMBA MP Jo-Ann Miller has used an adjournment debate speech to lash out at the Palaszczuk Government's tree clearing laws, saying they don't go far enough to protect her electorate from unchecked development. Ms Miller said she had been speaking on the issue for 12 years and that it was time the environment in the seat of Bundamba and elsewhere was treated with more respect. She said urban development in a large part of Springfield through Redbank Plains to the new Ripley Valley developments "have subjected the landscape to large scale tree clearing reminiscent of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era D9 dozers with enormous chains destructing everything in its path". Read more.

SBS: Tree clearing threatens future of clean, green agriculture – 160422

Queensland’s tree clearing laws aren’t working. Therefore there is nothing extreme nor drastic about fixing them.  Since the former Newman government weakened controls over land clearing in 2012, over 560,000 hectares of forest and woodland is known to have been cleared, an area nearly twice that of the Australian Capital Territory. In fact, failing to reverse the return to broad-scale clearing in Queensland risks damaging Australia’s international reputation as leading exporters of safe, clean and green food. Yet even as the Palaszczuk government attempts to reinstate provisions in the Vegetation Management Act to end mass-clearing and return to a system of appropriate land management, a barrage of misinformation threatens to mislead the public and delay progress. As independent MP Billy Gordon said in a media release on Tuesday, the distortion and fear mongering is irresponsible and unhelpful. Read more.

ABC: Farmer who fatally shot environmental officer near Moree was fuelled by hatred, court told - 160422

A farmer fatally shot an environmental officer in northern NSW two years ago because he was motivated by "personal hatred" and believed the man "had it in for him", a court has heard. Ian Turnbull, 81, Thursday pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Glen Turner at Croppa Creek near Moree in July 2014. Instead he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but that plea was rejected by the Crown. Read more. 

SMH: The only way he is going is in a body bag': alleged murderer  - 160421

Elderly farmer Ian Robert Turnbull shot an environment compliance officer in the neck and then chased him around a car for about 40 minutes before fatally shooting him in the back, a court has heard. As Glendon "Glen" Turner bled heavily and his colleague Robert Strange begged to be allowed to seek medical help, Mr Turnbull allegedly said: "The only way he is going is in a body bag". In the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, Mr Turnbull, 81, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Turner on July 29, 2014 at Croppa Creek, north of Moree. Read more.

THE GUARDIAN: Former LNP official urges landholders to 'hang up' on environment officers - 160420

Australian Conservation Foundation condemns advice to refuse access to federal environment department officers investigating land clearing. A former north Queensland Liberal National party official has urged landholders to “hang up” on commonwealth officers who are investigating whether land-clearing plans breach federal conservation laws. Peter Spies, a land-clearing consultant and one-time Atherton LNP branch president, has also suggested landholders refuse access to federal environment department officers unless they have search warrants. Read more.

ABC: Proposed changes to Qld vegetation management laws spark fiery campaigns from AgForce and WWF - 160418

In an effort to campaign against the Queensland Government's proposed changes to vegetation management laws, rural lobby group, AgForce is taking its message to billboards, social media and politicians. General President, Grant Maudsley said AgForce was committed to a long campaign against the proposed changes. "It is submissions, it is petitions, it is meeting with Ministers," he said. Read more.

ABC: Spike in native animal injuries caused by land clearing and habitat destruction, RSPCA says 160405

The number of native animals injured in south-east Queensland has almost tripled in the past four years, the RSPCA has said. The animal protection agency said wildlife rescues had spiked from about 8,000 in 2011 to 22,000 over the past year. Veterinarian Rebecca Millers from the RSPCA's wildlife hospital at Wacol, in Brisbane's south west, said it was evidence of the struggle between development and conservation. Read more.

SMH: Time to cut losses not native trees, as deficit climbs, Australia Institute says - 160322

Logging of native forests has cost NSW taxpayers $78 million over the past six years for a declining industry that is also a primary risk for the state's rising number of threatened species, according to a report by The Australia Institute. The losses have been clocked up by the hardwood unit of the Forestry Corporation of NSW in the six years to the 2014-15 financial year. About 95 per cent of the division's revenue comes from logging in native forests rather than hardwood plantations, the report said. "In this day and age, native forests can't compete with professionally managed forestry," Roderick Campbell, one of the report's authors, said. The paper was commissioned by the Nature Conservation Council and the National Parks Association on NSW. Read more.

ABC: Queensland to introduce new vegetation laws to stop land clearing – 160318

The Queensland Government is set to introduce laws it says will stop "skyrocketing" tree-clearing rates in the state. Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the laws would close "loopholes" created by the Newman government. The previous government relaxed rules in its changes to the Vegetation Management Act, allowing the clearing of native vegetation for high-value agriculture projects. Read more.

ECHONET DAILY: Govt sided with miners over ‘cash for clearing’ laws - 160317

The very day that the NSW Government’s draconian anti mining-protest laws came into effect, the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) has revealed that ministers ignored the advice of their own environment office, allowing miners to pay cash to destroy irreplaceable forests. Documents obtained by the NSW NCC under freedom of information laws show that the Baird government decided to include mine site rehabilitation areas when calculating mining companies’ ‘biodiversity offsets’ obligations. Formerly such rehabilitation sites would have been a part of any DA requirement on the miner and not constitute a ‘benefit’ to them. Read more.

ABC: Queensland's carbon pollution could increase by a third, report says - 160309

New modelling by Queensland's Environment Department shows the state's carbon pollution could increase by 35 per cent by 2030. The State Government has released the projections in the face of growing resistance to planned changes to tree-clearing laws. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection report showed Queensland's baseline greenhouse gas emissions could increase from 159.2 million tonnes in 2013 to 215.3 million tonnes in 2030, if State and Federal Government policy did not change. Read more.

Enviro groups withdraw from NSW biodiveristy reform talks - 160219

THE LAND: ALEX DRUCE. Six NSW Environmental groups have formed a Stand Up For Nature Alliance to fight the state government's proposed Biodiversity Act reforms. CONSERVATION groups have declared war on proposed NSW land clearing reforms after abandoning stakeholder talks with the state government. Read more. 

Conservation groups storm out of consultations over land-clearing law - 160219

THE GUARDIAN: Groups including Wilderness Society, Humane Society and Total Environment Centre say NSW process is ‘skewed towards radicals in the National party’ The Baird government is in the final stages of scrapping the Native Vegetation Act, which prevents the broadscale clearing of native vegetation. Conservation groups have stormed out of consultations with the NSW government over an overhaul of land-clearing laws they say have been a sham and will fast-track bushland destruction in the state. Read more. 

Green groups blame National Party 'radicals' for breakdown in land clearing talks - 160219

SMH: Sean Nicholls. The state's peak environment groups have pulled out of discussions with the NSW government over proposed land clearing and biodiversity laws, declaring the process has been hijacked by "radicals" in the Nationals.
The NSW government is planning to overhaul biodiversity and land clearing laws introduced by Labor that have been long opposed by farming groups and the Nationals. In 2014, an independent panel commissioned by the state government recommended repealing the Native Vegetation Act, Threatened Species Act and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act and introducing a new Biodiversity Conservation Act. Read more. 

Lismore residents to demand end to ‘war on trees’ - 160217  

ECHONET DAILY: A community meeting to discuss the government’s plans to make it easier for property developers and big agribusiness to remove trees and clear native bushland will be held at The Presbyterian Hall in Lismore on Thursday. Read more.

Residents rally ahead of Valentine’s Day protest against tree removal - 160215

SOUTHERN COURIER: A community meeting in Maroubra on Thursday called on the Baird government to end its destruction of trees and to increase protection for local bushland, wildlife and the climate by strengthening nature protection laws. Read more.

Protesters form giant heart in bid to stop destruction of Randwick trees for Sydney light rail - 160215 

ABC: More than 700 protesters have gathered in the shape of a heart, in a bid to stop the clearing of hundreds of trees that the NSW Government is removing for an extension to the Sydney light rail. Protestors said they were following their hearts this Valentine's Day in the hope of saving at least 800 trees from clearing or damage. Read more.

Coalition warned new land clearing laws risk reputation damage to farmers - 160205 

SMH: A former head of the NSW farming lobby's youth arm has warned the agriculture industry risks reputation damage akin to that suffered after the live cattle exports scandal if the state government proceeds with controversial new land clearing laws. Read more.

NSW Farmers member quits executive in dispute over land clearing - 160202

GUARDIAN: Joshua Gilbert says he was told he would be publicly attacked if he spoke out against the association’s policy on clearing of native vegetation. A dispute inside a New South Wales farming lobby group over permission to clear native vegetation has led to one of its most prominent voices resigning, after personal threats he alleges were made against him. Read more.

Mike Baird's war on trees is threatening our biodiversity - 160120

SMH: Jeff Angel. Over the past year, there's been a war on trees and there's no sign that it will stop. I grew up in Sydney's eastern suburbs and knew the great native fig trees along Alison Road well. Read more.

Losing the plot: how native vegetation mapping went feral - 160117

SMH: Peter Hannam. The protection of native vegetation has long been a fraught issue in Australia, highlighted by the shooting in 2014 of Glen Turner, a NSW Office of Environment and Heritage compliance staffer allegedly gunned down by a land-clearing wheat farmer near Moree in the state's north. Read more. 

Claims of a cover-up and millions wasted in NSW native vegetation mapping saga - 160117  

SMH: Peter Hannam. A bitter row over how to map NSW's precious natural habitat has split the state's environment ministry, prompting accusations of millions of dollars wasted, opaque funding processes and the cover-up of a damning internal report.Read more.  

The Shiny Green Crystal Ball Mike Baird Can’t Ignore - 160113

NEW MATILDA: NSW is set to join Queensland in tearing up key environmental legislation. The likely result will be widespread land-clearing and a greater contribution to climate change, writes Dr Mehreen Faruqi. Read more.


More farmers undertaking Landcare conservation projects - 151203

ABC: New research from Nature Conservancy Australia shows 40 per cent of Australian producers are farming more sustainably, by signing up to Landcare conservation programs. Read more.

Queensland farmers angered by Government's move to change vegetation management laws - 151201

ABC: The Queensland Government will move to re-introduce vegetation management legislation which was scrapped under the Newman government two years ago. Read more.

Land clearing triples in Queensland - 151201

ABC: The equivalent of 6.5 million house plots of land has been cleared in Queensland over the last few years.Land clearing in Queensland has tripled according to the Queensland Government's Statewide Landcover and Trees Study. Steve discussed the study with Martin Taylor who is a scientist with WWF Australia. Read more.

Land clearing means Qld unlikely to reach climate targets - and more 8am zedlines

4zzzfm: Qld unlikely to reach climate targets, environment group warns - 151201
The Wilderness Society has warned that Queensland is unlikely to reach its climate emissions reduction target if the current rate of land clearing is kept up. Read more.

Qld to reverse land clearing laws- 151129

9NEWS: Green campaigners have urged Labor to move quickly to reform Queensland's controversial land clearing laws after a report found clearing had doubled in two years.Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has pledged to overturn relaxed policies brought in by the previous LNP government, which she blamed for the "unsustainable crisis". Read more.

It’s D-Day for native veg laws 151016 

THE LAND: NATIVE vegetation reform is just weeks away, after the state government reaffirmed its promise to scrap laws it says has plagued farmers for 20 years. Read more.

Clear-cut bias on native veg laws - 150806

THE LAND: NSW's native vegetation laws tell a tale of two starkly different systems for primary industries: there's mining - and then there's the rest. Read more.

Spencer loses land clearing case- 150727

THE LAND: PETER Spencer's landmark land clearing case was rejected by the federal court in Melbourne today. Read more

Premier Mike Baird lays out priorities for New South Wales farm sector, defends Shenhua proposal - 150715

ABC: The New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has listed native vegetation, multi-peril crop insurance and water infrastructure as his three priorities for agriculture. Read more.

Accused killer Ian Robert Turnbull appeals illegal land clearing ruling on Croppa Creek farm – 150707

DAILY TELE: THE farmer accused of murdering environmental officer Glen Turner is appealing a court finding that he “recklessly” caused substantial harm by illegally clearing his property. Read more.

Passing the buck on land-clearing costs the country dearly - 150618

THE AUSTRALIAN: By Lyndon Schneiders, national director of the Wilderness Society. The bulldozers are back clearing thousands of hectares of forests and woodlands across Queensland while governments at the state and federal level pass the buck, daring the other to clean up this environmental mess left -behind by the discredited Newman government. Read more.

QLD Labor promises to tighten environmental protection laws- 150617

ABC: MARK COLVIN: Leaked figures obtained by the ABC reveal that land clearing rates have soared in Queensland since the then Campbell Newman government loosened restrictions a few years ago. Labor has promised to tighten the laws, but environmentalists claim it's dragging its feet while clearing continues across the state. Read more.

Land clearing soars in Queensland, leaked figures show - 150617

ABC: Leaked figures obtained by the ABC show land clearing in Queensland last year was around 278,000 hectares — triple what it was in 2009. The scale of the clearing is of a size larger than the ACT with one property alone permitted to clear 600 square kilometres. Martin Taylor for conservation group WWF described the increase as "meteoric and extremely alarming".

2009/10 - 77 590 hectares
2010/11 - 91 690 hectares
2011/12 - 153 000 hectares (last official figures)
2012/13 - 230 000 hectares* (leaked figures subject to final analysis)
2013/14 - 278 000 hectares* (leaked figures subject to final analysis)
Read more.

Land clearing compliance visits by Office of Environment and Heritage halted in north west NSW, Greens warn against political interference - 150526

ABC: Compliance visits by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to investigate alleged land clearing in the Spring Plains district near Wee Waa in NSW will not proceed this week. Read more.

Native veg site visits suspended - 150525

THE LAND: FORMER Lands Minister and Barwon MP Kevin Humphries has commended the decision to suspend Native Vegetation compliance visits in the Spring Plains district. Read more.

QLD Govt to clear land 'worthy of world heritage protection' - 150506

ABC: MARK COLVIN: Conservationists are calling on the Queensland Government to stop the bulldozing of tens of thousands of hectares of bushland in the state's far north. Read more.

NSW Farmers keen for reform to native vegetation laws - 150401

ABC: The New South Wales Farmers Association says it is looking forward to seeing the Baird Government come through on a promise to reform native vegetation laws. Read more.

WWF fires a warning shot over Australia’s land-clearing record - 150330

THE CONVERSATION: When we think about global deforestation, certain hotspots spring to mind. The Amazon. The Congo. Borneo and Sumatra. And… eastern Australia? Read more.

NSW State Election 2015: Native vegetation 'to get the chop' as Baird rolls backs protections, conservationists say - 150326

SMH: Peter Hannam. The NSW Liberals have been accused of caving into their Nationals coalition partners with their plans to scrap acts protecting native vegetation and threatened species if re-elected at this weekend's poll. Read more.

NSW election 2015: Coalition to replace land-clearing laws despite conservation fears - 150326

ABC: Conservationists say the Baird Government's plans to scrap and replace land-clearing laws pose a threat to koala habitats and could lead to an environmental disaster. Read more.

New deal puts ag at the political fore - 150326

THE LAND. Roderick Makim. AN UNPRECEDENTED partnership between NSW Farmers and the state government could deliver a raft of popular outcomes for rural voters. Read more.

Native veg ace for Nats – 150326

THE LAND. Roderick Makim. FOR 20 years, native vegetation laws have been a thorn in the side of many farmers in NSW, and now the state government has promised to finally scrap the legislation if it is elected on Saturday. Read more.

National Party Native Vegetation announcement due before election – 150326

ABC: Johannah McOwan. With just three days until voters head to the polls, the state's Deputy Premier says an announcement about the long-awaited reforms to Native Vegetation legislation is imminent. Read more.

Farmers welcome Coalition's promise to repeal native vegetation legislation – 150326

ABC: The NSW Farmers Association has welcomed the Coalition's promise to overturn the entire Native Vegetation legislation package, if they are returned to office at this weekend's election. Read more.

Native veg down to wire - 150323

THE LAND. Mike Foley. CONCERNS are emerging about the Nationals' commitment to long awaited native vegetation reforms. Read more.

How the EPA hasn't stopped misuse of land clearing codes - 150323

SATURDAY PAPER: Land clearing rules are aimed at bushfire prevention, but now their misuse is leaving preservationists feeling burnt. Read more.

NSW state election 2015: Extend native vegetation laws, WWF says - 150316

SMH: Peter Hannam. Pressure is mounting on the Baird government to support the retention of key elements of anti land-clearing laws, with claims the Native Vegetation Act is sparing more than 100,000 native animals a year. Read more.

Blue Mountains council: call for 10/50 tree-clearing law to be tightened - 150226

SMH: Peter Hannam. The Blue Mountains City Council has joined resident groups in Sydney to renew calls for the tightening of land-clearing laws that have enabled many home owners to clear nearby bushland without a permit. Read more.


New clearing codes to be released - 141120

THE LAND: AFTER a long wait, the NSW government has released the self assessable codes allowing farmers to clear certain native vegetation on their land. Read more.

Farmers the key to saving Australia's threatened ecosystems - 141111

ABC: A WWF report has found that out of 5,815 individual eco-systems across the continent, 2,764 could be considered threatened under new criteria set out by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Read more.

Australia's environment is 'going backwards', green alliance says - 141110

SMH: Peter Hannam. Almost half of Australia's terrestrial ecosystems are threatened, 85 per cent of its rivers have been modified and twice as many Australians die from air pollution annually than road accidents, according to a report on the state of the country's environment. Read more.

Pressure on Nats over native veg - 141105

THE LAND: TIME is running out to fix controversial native vegetation laws, as pressure to reform rises on the Nationals. Read more.

New South Wales reviews native vegetation laws - 141105

ABC: The best way to deal with native vegetation is a vexed question. The debate is heating up with a review into the New South Wales legislation due to be released in December. Read more.

Review of New South Wales land clearing laws favours paying farmers to look after native vegetation - 141013

ABC: Paying farmers to look after native vegetation is firming as a likely outcome of the New South Wales Government's review of land-clearing laws. Read more.

Moree shooting: Farmer who fatally shot environment officer 'simply cracked', wife says - 141002

ABC: The wife of a NSW farmer accused of murdering an environment officer in Moree says her husband told her he had cracked and did not mean to kill the man. Read more.

Croppa Creek operation underway looking at possible land clearing breaches ABC - 140910 

ABC: The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage and police are currently inspecting a property in Croppa Creek, near where environment officer Glen Turner was shot dead earlier this year. Read more.

Pay farmers to save threatened species: expert - 140903

SMH: Nicole Hasham. Farmers banned from clearing their land should be reimbursed and society must pay to save native plants and animals on private property, says the top environmental economist heading a shake-up of NSW's biodiversity laws. Read more.

Ian Turnbull, accused of murdering environmental officer Glen Turner, refused bail - 140903

SMH: Elderly farmer Ian Robert Turnbull has been refused bail for allegedly "deliberately executing" an environment officer, because of the risk he will continue his "vendetta" against other workers if he is released. Read more.

Glen Turner’s accused murderer Ian Turnbull allegedly told his wife: ‘I simply cracked, I didn’t mean to kill him’ - 140903

DAILY TELE: FARMER Ian Turnbull has been refused bail, with a Supreme Court judge describing the allegations as a “deliberate execution.” Read more.

Large scale land clearing on Queensland - 140407

ABC: A landholder in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria has received a permit to clear an area equal to the size of the Ord Irrigation Scheme in Western Australia. Read more.

Changes to hazard clearing welcomed - 131114

SMH: Peter Hannam. Plans by the O'Farrell government to ease land-clearing rules for residents in bushfire-prone areas were made without consultation with the council most affected by last month's blazes. Read more.

Changes to land-clearing laws alarm green groups - 130613

SMH: Sean Nicholls, Peter Hannam. Environmental laws that determine how farmers can clear their land of native vegetation will be overhauled by the state government, an announcement that has alarmed conservation groups. Read more.

North West habitats disappear in droves - 130104

LEADER: AUTHORITIES have failed to protect threatened wildlife habitat and endangered woodland from being felled at an alarming rate, a conservationist says. Read more.