Native Vegetation Scientific Expert Panel

Issued: 13 Jul 2022

An independent panel of experts has been established to review the factors behind land clearing identified in the latest Statewide Land and Trees Study (SLATS) report and identify positive solutions that will better protect Queensland’s biodiversity without compromising economic productivity.

Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor Hugh Possingham, who chairs the panel, said the Native Vegetation Scientific Expert Panel had been specifically tasked to identify incentives or other innovative mechanisms that can be used to help avoid clearing.

“We’re working to better understand where and why native vegetation is being cleared and the different types of clearing in Queensland,” Professor Possingham said.

“With that information in hand, the panel can work out what reforms or incentives may be introduced to enhance the protection and regeneration of native vegetation while ensuring famers and the economy prosper.

“Land clearing affects regional communities, habitats, trade, climate change action, the Reef and is important to the future of the State.”

The independent panel comprises recognised experts in agriculture, ecology, law, social science, economics, and First Nations perspectives.

It has already convened three meetings in Brisbane and travelled to the Taroom area in the Brigalow Belt to visit some properties see first-hand and discuss on-the-ground issues with landholders.

In June, the panel consulted with peak groups across five sectors (agriculture, environment, First Nations, resources and infrastructure, and local councils and natural resource management groups) to understand stakeholder perspectives and obtain their ideas for solutions.

Professor Possingham said the panel would deliver a draft discussion paper to the Queensland Government by August and a final report by the end of the year.

Further information on the panel is available from the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist.