AT A MEETING in Paris today, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, of the Queensland Government, reassured UNESCO of its commitment to the much-vaunted tree-clearing crackdown.
A large number of hangers-on have travelled across the globe to Paris to hear the speech, because there simply wasn’t enough accommodation available in Brisbane for a glad-handing event of major proportions.
Such was her high-profile stance, Deputy Trad didn’t bother inviting a representative from the Australian Government’s Foreign Affairs Department.
Deputy Trad remains adamant that farmers will be ‘mercilessly flogged’ and agriculture will be brought to a standstill as the threat of having the Great Barrier Reef listed as ‘in danger’ looms.
US President Barack Obama is known to be very supportive of saving the Great Barrier Reef, although he has never been there.
The Deputy Premier met with the international organisation to discuss work it’s doing under the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan following the failure of its vegetation management laws.
It was blatantly obvious that Deputy Trad was trying to stay calm and not quiver as she explained the laws that were a key plank of Australia’s (not just Queensland’s) promise to fix the reef were defeated in a recent vote, and as her face grimaced, she blamed independent MP Billy Gordon for refusing to back them and siding with the Opposition and Katter’s Australia Party.
“While UNESCO provided positive feedback on the work already underway, they recognised the importance of strengthening our vegetation protections laws — one of the Palaszczuk Government’s key commitments to protect the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Trad said from Paris.
Speaking outside the George V Bistro directly opposite the Lois Vuitton headquarters on the Champs d’Elysse, she refused to respond to a photo (see below) showing massive tree clearing being undertaken in the North Lakes area, an half-hour drive north of Brisbane city.
She said Labor would reinstate the failed tree-clearing laws if they fail to lose the next election.
“Despite recent setbacks in Parliament, the Palaszczuk Government is still resolutely committed to protecting our Reef,” she said.
The Deputy Queensland Premier reiterated that she simply doesn’t want to be Premier of the State. Then the lights changed to green and she was last seen entering the fashion house across the road.
Deputy Trad said a progress update on the Reef 2050 Plan is due to be presented to the World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature in December.
“I acknowledge the World Heritage Centre will then undertake a robust scientific assessment of this report to ensure the Australian and Queensland Governments keep faith with their commitments in Bonn last year, when UNESCO considered listing the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’,” she said.
One of her minders did mutter something about “we need more voters in the North Lakes area to shore-up our electoral chances.”
SOME QUESTIONS that agalert.com.au needs answered by Deputy Trad and Environmental side-kick, Steven Miles:
- WHY is land clearing for agriculture so poisonous to the reef, yet vast acreages being denuded for expanding cities and regional mini-cities are not detrimental, in the same way, to the Great Barrier Reef?
- WHY is it that boating is prolific the entire length of the east coast of Queensland, and that the cleaning agents for all sizes of boats use many of the same chemicals that are being blamed for destroying the reef? In many cases, these chemicals are being applied close to a raw state, and not in line with directions.
- SHOULD NOT land-clearing laws be uniform, and not for just one sector of industry — and a vital industry at that?
(Compiled from local media sources and Jean-Pierre Bleu, an independent journalist on the ground in Paris).