Australian climate policy has a relatively long and uneven history. Australia joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and signed the Kyoto Protocol enthusiastically supporting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. A range of measures aimed at reducing Australia’s GHG emissions have been on the agenda at both the Federal and State level. Some of these measures were successfully implemented, some were introduced and then repealed and some never reached the implementation stage. Australian legislation governing forests is mostly State or Territory-based. The major policy regulating land clearing and deforestation in the Australian State of Queensland is the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Qld) (VMA). This article examines the recent amendments to the VMA 1999 and whether these amendments will interact with the Reef 2050 Plan effectively. The effectiveness of the VMA is discussed to draw conclusions about potential reforms that should be considered to limit land clearing and deforestation in Australia thus minimising negative impact on the Great Barrier Reef.