Miles points to science to call for land clearing laws

QUEENSLAND'S environment minister remains determined to get controversial land clearing restrictions into law - but admits it is unlikely to happen in the current term.

Minister Steven Miles has pointed to new research showing land clearing and extra runoff has caused stresses on the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Miles said University of Queensland coral core research from along the reef was investigating growth rates over thousands of years.

One core sample from the Keppel Island is more than 7000 years old. The testing has been conducted from the Fraser Coast in the south and at sites along the reef as far north as off Cape York.

Dr Miles said the reef would remain in risk if land clearing laws were not tightened.

The government's proposed land clearing laws were defeated in parliament this month when the LNP, Katter's Australian Party and independent Billy Gordon voted against it.

At the time the LNP dubbed the laws an "attack on farmers" and KAP leader Robbie Katter said he was "1000% against" the laws.

Dr Miles admitted at parliament on Tuesday it was unlikely any land clearing restrictions would be passed this term.

"I think given what we saw at the last sitting it is unlikely they would be revisited in this parliament," he said.

UQ School of Earth Sciences professor Greg Webb said the research helped determine changes between natural and human-caused changes in coral growth.

"The historical perspectives on water quality and community structure gained from geochemical and ecological analysis of dated corals in cores help distinguish natural from human-induced changes in coral reef systems," he said.

"This can define shifting baselines and ongoing trends that may help identify tolerances and tipping points to better target attempts at restoration." - ARM NEWSDESK



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