I have grave concern with regards to the streamlining of vegetation and biodiversity management. Recent examples of similar de regulation of environmental protection illustrate how negative benefits are promoted.

It is unfortunate that there is no readily accessable immediate dollar value attributed to vegetation, biodiversity or natural areas unlike the value per acre of arable lands or the price per m/2 of floor space in a factory.

The value of vegetation, biodiversity and of natural areas is measured in quality of life and deserves greater protection or more considered assessment not streamlining and de regulation.

Case 1: NSW RFS 10/50 regulation introduced to de regulate vegetation / tree protection result widespread mis use and vegetation loss without proper consultation with any stakeholder.

Case 2: NSW Housing/Codes SEPP deregulating vegetation / tree protection resulting in poor outcomes for urban tree canopy and significant trees.

It is an unfortunate characteristic of the human condition whereby short term greed distorts rational scientific knowledge. Individual and corporate agendas and actions impact on vegetation, tree and natural area management which affect everyones quality of life.

Intrinsically professional consultants whom work in Vegetation, Tree and Natural Area management are intrinsically linked to good outcomes for development.

This comment in no way rejects development or progress however it pleads for sensibility it demands best practice and hopes for intelligent outcomes from a multidisciplinary approach to the management of our environment.

Not one person or body has all the answers, the more independent contributions made to planning or environmental management processes the better the outcome will be. COnversely the less input from experts the worse the outcome will be.

Please do not erode the level of protection our environment deserves.

I believe WP Reeves says it best in 'The Long White CLoud'

the passing of the forest

a lament for the children of tanĚŠ

All glory cannot vanish from the hills.

Their strength remains, their stature of command

O'er shadowy valleys that cool twilight fills

For wanderers weary in a faded land;

Refreshed when rain-clouds swell a thousand rills,

Ancient of days in green old age they stand,

Though lost the beauty that became Man's prey

When from their flanks he stripped the woods away.

But thin their vesture now, the trembling grass,

Shivering and yielding as the breeze goes by,

Catching quick gleams and scudding shades that pass,

As running seas reflect a windy sky.

A kinglier garb their forest raiment was

From crown to feet that clothed them royally,

Shielding the secrets of their streams from day

Ere the deep, sheltering woods were hewn away.

Well may these brooding, mutilated kings,

Stripped of the robes that ages weaved, discrowned,

Draw down the clouds with soft-enfolding wings

And white, aerial fleece to wrap them round,

To hide the scars that every season brings,

The fire's black smirch, the landslip's gaping wound,

Well may they shroud their heads in mantle grey

Since from their brows the leaves were plucked away!

Gone is the forest's labyrinth of life,

Its clambering, thrusting, clasping, throttling race,

Creeper with creeper, bush with bush at strife,

Struggling in silence for a breathing space;

PAGE 381 Below, a realm with tangled rankness rife,

Aloft, tree columns in victorious grace.

Gone the dumb hosts in warfare dim; none stay;

Dense brake and stately trunk have passed away.

Gone are those gentle forest-haunting things,

Eaters of honey, honey-sweet in song,

The tui and the bell-bird-he who rings

That brief, rich music we would fain prolong,

Gone the wood pigeon's sudden whirr of wings,

The daring robin all unused to wrong,

Ay, all the friendly friendless creatures. They

Lived with their trees and died and passed away.

Gone are the flowers. The kowhai like ripe corn,

The frail convolvulus, a day-dream white,

The dim-hued passion-flower for shadows born,

The fragrant orchid pallid in green night,

The blood-red rata strangling trees forlorn

Or with exultant crimson fiery-bright

Painting the sombre gorges, and that fay

The starry clematis are all away!

Lost is the resinous, sharp scent of pines,

Of wood fresh cut, clean-smelling, for the hearth,

Of smoke from burning logs in wavering lines

Softening the air with blue, of brown, damp earth

And dead trunks fallen among coiling vines,

Slow-mouldering, moss-coated. Round the girth

Of the green land the wind brought vale and bay

Fragrance far-borne now faded all away.

Lost is the sense of noiseless sweet escape

From dust of stony plain, from sun and gale,

When the feet tread where quiet shadows drape

Dark stems with peace beneath a kindly veil.

No more the pleasant rustlings stir each shape,

Creeping with whisperings that rise and fail

Through glimmering lace-work lit by chequered play

Of light that danced on moss now burned away.

Gone are the forest tracks where oft we rode

Under the silvery fern fronds, climbing slow

Through long green tunnels, while hot noontide glowed

And glittered on the tree-tops far below.

PAGE 382

There in the stillness of the mountain road

We just could hear the valley river flow

With dreamy murmur through the slumbering day

Lulling the dark-browed woods now passed away.

Fanned by the dry, faint air that lightly blew

We watched the shining gulfs in noonday sleep

Quivering between tall cliffs that taller grew

Above the unseen torrent calling deep,

Till like a sword cleaving the foliage through

The waterfall flashed foaming down the steep,

White, living water, cooling with its spray

Soft plumes of curling fern now scorched away.

The axe bites deep. The rushing fire streams bright;

Swift, beautiful and fierce it speeds for Man,

Nature's rough-handed foeman, keen to smite

And mar the loveliness of ages. Scan

The blackened forest ruined in a night,

A sylvan Parthenon that God will plan

But builds not twice. Ah, bitter price to pay

For Man's dominion-beauty swept away!

W. P. Reeves.

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