The Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 17 March 2016, and has been referred to the Agriculture and Environment Committee.
The Bill seeks to reinstate some significant aspects of the vegetation management framework in place prior to the commencement of the Land, Water and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013 and the Vegetation Framework Management Amendment Act 2013.
The Bill proposes to:
- remove high value agriculture and irrigated high value agriculture from the purposes for which a vegetation clearing application can be assessed; and
- reinstate the ‘reverse onus of proof’, i.e. the requirement for the occupier of land in proceedings in relation to a vegetation clearing offence to prove that it did not undertake the vegetation clearing; and,
- amend the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 (Qld) to remove the references to ‘significant’ residual impacts, so that the Act provides for environmental offsets to counterbalance ‘residual impacts’ from particular activities on prescribed environmental matters.
The closing date for written submission on the Bill is 25 April 2016.