24th May 2017
WWF needs to be roundly condemned for their underhanded tactics in deceiving people into signing a petition in support of a Bill similar to or a clone of the Vegetation Reinstatement Bill which was defeated last year by one vote. Most people signing the petition will not know anything about this Bill, its main purpose or its history.
They use koala habitat destruction in the SE corner which is mostly caused by urban encroachment and government infrastructure projects as a hook to get unknowing urban voters to advocate on a piece of legislation which essentially constrains agriculture in Qld and draws the productivity noose even tighter around producer’s necks without helping SE corner koalas, where development will march on regardless.
The fact that the campaigned for legislation is designed to constrain farmers state-wide from keeping their paddocks productive is a glossed over part of the petition and support material with a brief mention of controls abandoned by the former Qld Government. But it gets worse. After specifically mentioning abandoned controls in Queensland, the associated map includes information on their version of koala loss in NSW so that people are being duped into signing a petition about Qld legislation based on koala loss material from other states.
Just to add a bit of relevant Qld country flavour they point out that in a stretch of Central Queensland around Clairview (150 km South of Mackay) and West, 62 koalas have been killed on roads in just three years. How this demonstrates habitat destruction is beyond me. Road kill and train kill in a non-urban area is not only not the farmer’s fault but would be a very tiny percentage of the population and, rather than demonstrating culpability, shows that there is a large population locally with a healthy habitat.
The petition is part of a nationwide media campaign started by several green groups including WWF, Qld Conservation Council, The Wilderness Society and koala carer groups on the weekend using plucked figures of inflated clearing rates in Qld and zero for regrowth and encroachment into naturally open savannah grasslands.
This is not the first time that WWF has used improper figures. During the Vegetation Reinstatement debate, they took an 80% fall in koala numbers in the rapidly developing Redlands Shire in SE Qld where major causes of death were cars, dogs and chlamydia and extrapolated that to the rest of Qld blaming tree clearing and an excuse to put increased controls on farmers. This is hypocrisy at the highest level.
Any belief that WWF and sister groups are moderate and responsible organisations who are just being caring of the environment should be dispelled by this deceptive and misleading piece of campaigning.
For further information contact:
Joanne Rea, “Edengarry” Kunwarara QLD 4702
Ph: 0407 143 664 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
PRA is a non-profit organisation of primary producers and business people from rural
areas defending the rights of property owners