Tree Clearing Facts and State Government Spin are Miles Apart.

Queensland Environment and Heritage Minister Dr.Steven Miles has continued to reduce the quality of the scientific debate around the extent and environmental consequences of current tree clearing rates with his latest misleading comments in Townsville,  said Basin Sustainability Alliance chairman Lee McNicholl.

Dr.Miles habitually uses every opportunity to blame agricultural run off in coastal catchments for an unjustified amount of the variable damage along the Great Barrier Reef claimed Mr.McNicholl.

“We are trying to fix the cumulative impact of over 150 years of land use change, tree clearing, sugar cane growing and cattle grazing “ stated the politicking Dr.Miles , before making the extraordinary claim that 80% of rehabilitation funds will be needed  to address fine sediment run off in the Fitzroy catchment”.

“Hypercritically he has failed to mention the impact of 209 “authorized releases” of coal mine water since November 2013 .Giga litres of polluted tailings dam water from 42 coal mines have been poured into steams across the Fitzroy catchment.” stated Mr. McNicholl.

Had Dr Miles earnt his Doctorate in Environmental Science rather than the dubious “science” of Political Science, he might have been familiar with a recent Griffith Uni research paper entitled “ Land use and water quality trends of the Fitzroy River”  added Mr. McNicholl.

The authors analysed these trends from 1964-2008, because the Fitzroy Basin is one of the largest sources of freshwater and sediment for the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon . The Basin was largely undisturbed before 1960. Currently 90% has been cleared for grazing, cropping and sown pasture.  Their findings are “ there are no significant trends in mean annual sediment concentration nor in the sediment discharge into the GBR Lagoon”.

“If Dr. Miles had any genuine scientific credibility he would be congratulating farmers for achieving such a great sustainability outcome instead of relentlessly demonizing us” claimed Mr. McNicholl.” Further if he was serious about climate change induced GBR damage he would be shutting down coal mines rather than turning a blind eye to their unsustainable  activities”.

Lee McNicholl  Chair BSA