March 2024 Roundtables

Leanne Linard with representatives from Queensland's environment movement

For a week in the middle of March, NQCC was represented at the Ministerial Environment Roundtable (MERT) and Queensland Environment Roundtable (QERT), hosted by Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) in Meanjin Brisbane.

Crystal Falknau represented NQCC at the Ministerial Roundtable on Tuesday 12 March, attended by Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation, Leanne Linard MP (pictured above) and Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni MP. 

In a one-on-one meeting with Minister Linard, Crystal raised opportunities for protecting habitat and Matters of State Environmental Significance (MSES) by working with government-owned corporations such as Sunwater. This proposal was received positively, and opportunities were identified to progress this approach. The need for an independent EPA was also raised. The Minister questioned our expectations of what it could deliver, and expressed that, while she supported an EPA, it was on a long list of things she was expected to "tie up in a short amount of time".

Minister de Brenni presented to representatives of the Queensland environment movement on the Renewable Energy Zone Readiness Assessments Framework, which then led into a roundtable discussion on climate.

Minister de Brenni with REZ readiness slideshow

The climate-focused roundtable discussion with both Ministers covered: 

  • The climate target bill
  • 1.5 degree alignment
  • Coal and gas guidelines
  • New coal and gas approvals
  • Sector decarbonisation plans
  • Nature and renewables
  • Climate adaptation


The nature-focused roundtable discussion with Minister Linard only covered the following:

  • National parks
  • National park visitation and tourism
  • Native forests
  • Invasive species
  • Bioregional planning


The following day, we continued discussions with key staff within the Dept of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) on a range of topics. 

The rest of the week consisted of purposeful gatherings, arranged and facilitated by QCC. The most significant of these was the Queensland Environment Roundtable, which brought people together from a range of conservation organisations to connect and share skills, experiences and insights.

Representatives from Queensland's environment movement pose behind a banner that reads Save our Creatures - protect their homes

We were also joined by Shadow Environment Minister Sam O'Connor, who committed to continued funding for the Environmental Defenders Office should the LNP form government after the election, and ruling out the use of nuclear energy in Queensland, on the basis of cost and social licence concerns. 

We are thankful for the opportunity to represent North Queensland at these important events and look forward to future collaborations with organisations from across the state. 

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  • Crystal Falknau