Scenic Rim MP says Trigger Maps a monumental government stuff-up

MAPPING FAILURE: Early last year Boonah landholder Bruce Wagner pointed out errors in vegetation mapping to the Beaudesert Times.
MAPPING FAILURE: Early last year Boonah landholder Bruce Wagner pointed out errors in vegetation mapping to the Beaudesert Times.

CHANGES by the state government to the way it maps protected plants has once again fuelled anger from landowners who say the maps are inaccurate and of no use to anyone, showing protected plant species in the most unlikely places including Suncorp Stadium.

Concerns about errors in the mapping process had been raised as early as last February when Boonah landholder Bruce Wagner pointed out some blatant mistakes on the vegetation map of his own property.

Scenic Rim LNP MP Jon Krause said the new Trigger, or 'Blue Dot' maps were farcical.

"This process highlights the complete lack of respect by the Labor government for our farmers who are generally terrific custodians of our land," he said.

"It is a farce that these maps, apparently intended for a nature conservation purpose, indicate that there are endangered species at places like Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

"But that's just one example of the mistakes - I'd go so far as to call it a monumental stuff-up by government - in the entire process."

An Environment and Science Department spokesman said the protected plants flora survey trigger map was generated using the current native plant species records and information about suitable habitat for endangered plants.

"DES is currently reviewing the protected plants flora survey trigger map and a new version of the map will be released shortly," he said.

"This is part of a regular review process which has been ongoing since 2014. The portion of Queensland mapped as a high-risk area on the trigger map has remained at less than four per cent of the state since trigger maps were introduced by the previous government."

The spokesperson said each revision of the trigger map helped improve its accuracy.

"Sites such as Suncorp Stadium, The Gabba and the Brisbane Convention Centre, and other areas, where there are clearly no protected plants present, will be removed from the updated trigger map," he said.

Mr Krause said Scenic Rim landholders should not have to pay for the mistakes.

"...The government has required landholders to pay thousands of dollars to obtain expert reports to have these mistakes, made by government, corrected," he said.

"That is an appalling abuse of power.

"When the government gets things wrong, the government should pay to fix it - not farmers.

"The fact that the government can quickly change the maps to fix these embarrassing mistakes, pointed out by farmers, also shows that this process is all about politics, not good policy."

The DES said landholders could apply to have a high risk area removed from the map.

"There is no fee payable to the department for submitting that request," the spokesperson said.

"However, a suitably qualified person, for example an ecologist or botanist, must have undertaken a flora survey and certified that they have found no endangered, vulnerable or near threatened plants in the area, or within 100 metres of the area, using the flora survey guideline."

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