First prize – for landclearing

Victoria has the worst land clearing record in the country. In 1869 we had 88% of the state covered in forests. In 1972 it had shrunk to just 36% of the state. That’s about 60% of the forest cover being wiped off the land in about 100 years. In the 34 years since 1972, more has been destroyed.

The government has lightly touched the brakes in an effort to show concern, but clearing is still continuing. No wonder 78% of our bushland types and 44% of our native plants are not just rare but threatened with extinction. Hardly a situation that allows for any more dithering by Mr Bracks. In just the last four years this shilly-shallying has lost another 2,500 ha of native vegetation – annually!

The laws to enforce vegetation protection are currently ambiguous, weak and even allow species on the endangered list to be destroyed if in scattered numbers. The remnants around metro areas could be cleared without any offsets to compensate.

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