Jim Pearce
Jim Pearce Allan Reinikka

Jim Pearce votes for doomed tree-clearing laws

AFTER threatening to derail his own government's land clearing laws Mirani MP Jim Pearce voted for the doomed legislation.

On Thursday morning Mr Pearce said he was not sure if he would vote for the vegetation management bill or abstain - a move that would have prevented the bill from passing.

But before 5pm on Thursday independent MP Billy Gordon announced he would not be supporting the government's proposed tree clearing restrictions - killing the bill.

Mr Pearce told the parliament he was considering abstaining until a letter was leaked to the media.

"All day I have said that I was considering taking that action; that I would be following the debate and making a decision prior to the vote. Unfortunately, media became aware of what I was thinking," he said.

"Late in the day I was made aware that a letter to me from AgForce had been leaked to the media. That action ended any consideration that I may have been contemplating.

"I am here to do the right thing by my electorate. One of the things I cannot stand is to have things happen after certain words have been said between people. That was a letter in confidence and somebody has leaked it so they have lost me."

But in his speech Mr Pearce made it clear he was not fully supportive of the bill.

"I want to say to the Deputy Premier on behalf of my constituents and other landowners across Central Queensland that the intent of the legislation is not what landowners want. In fact, they do not like it at all. Landowners want certainty. Landowners want to work their lands to maximise their returns," he said.

Due to Queensland's hung parliament the government needs opposition, independent or Katter's Australian Party support to pass any legislation.

Mr Gordon said the bill did not reach "balance" between environmental, agricultural and indigenous development needs.

KAP MP Robbie Katter said he had been discussing the bill with Mr Gordon in the hours leading up to his announcement.

With the bill already dead Mr Pearce voted with the government.

Similarly Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller, who has     criticised her own government in recent weeks, voted in support of the laws. - ARM NEWSDESK