28 October 2022


In a development to send a chill up the spine of every landholder in Australia, the Albanese Government and its Departmental officials have been unable today to provide modelling or specific details of their 30-by-30 land target.

At a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra, Assistant Climate Change and Energy Minister Jenny McAllister was not able to provide clarity on almost all aspects of the scheme – leaving it to officials from the Environment Department officials to try to offer a response to questions from Shadow Environment Minister, Jonno Duniam.

The land reservation policy has remained a contentious policy since it was announced by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek at the National Press Club on 19 July.

It is intended to give expression to the reservation of at least 30% of Australia’s land mass by 2030 – a move that the Departmental officials today confirmed would require the “locking up” of millions of additional hectares to fulfil.

Clearly, there are serious and important questions to answer about where the targeted areas are, and how Labor will specifically pursue this objective and at what cost.

However, they all went unanswered today by Ms McAllister.

To add to today’s confusion and lack of clarity from the Government, Ms McAllister also studiously avoided answering direct questions about Labor’s policy on the continuation of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) across the country.

The RFA structure has provided the lynchpin for certainty in Australia’s forestry sector for more than 25 years – but today’s hearing offered no clue on their future under Labor.

State Labor governments in Victoria and Western Australia have already decimated their forestry sectors, and there is now rapidly growing unease that Federal Labor may do the same.