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Qld LNP's green push gets bagged by govt

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Stuart Layt

Queensland's opposition has made an overture for green votes, announcing two environmental policies, but the Labor government say they are playing catch-up on conservation issues.

Liberal National Party Leader Tim Nicholls on Monday announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags and also $300,000 in funding for the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef initiative if the LNP won the next state election.

Mr Nicholls told reporters in Cairns single-use plastic bags did enormous damage to the environment.

"They are used on average for about 12 minutes, but they can take up to a thousand years to disintegrate in the environment," Mr Nicholls said.

"In that time they cause untold damage to marine life, to turtles and to dugongs."

Currently plastic bags are banned in Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT, and Mr Nicholls said Queensland should join them.

"The original agreement was to phase out the bags from 2008, and yet eight years later we're still waiting," he said.

But the Labor government has accused the LNP of hypocrisy, with Environment Minister Steven Miles pointing out the previous Newman government announced a plastic bag ban in 2013, before backing down on the measure the next day.

"Since May last year, we've been investigating a ban on single-use plastic bags and it looks like the LNP have finally caught up," Dr Miles said in a statement.

Dr Miles also took aim at the LNP's reef announcement, claiming the LNP's vegetation management policies had been very damaging to the reef.

"Not only has the LNP's reckless approach to tree-clearing put at risk our beloved Great Barrier Reef, but also the livelihoods of so many Queenslanders who depend on it," he said.

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