Comments

Mrs Angela Burrows
2060
25th June 2016
Biodiversity Submissions
PO Box A290
Sydney South
NSW 1232
Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Proposed land clearing legislation - Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016 and Local Land Services Bill 2016

I am writing this submission to express my concern that the proposed changes to native vegetation legislation in NSW will be a retrograde step, reversing many of NSW long held environmental protections. These legislative changes will lead to loss of biodiversity, native vegetation, bushland habitats and urban bushland, parks and green space.

I oppose the NSW Government's proposed new laws and support stronger protection for native vegetation and wildlife flora and fauna.

At this time of increasing impacts of climate change, global warming, huge pressures for housing and infrastructure developments, coal seam gas exploration, coal mining expansion and broad scale farming, there is an urgent need for stronger protections of our native flora and fauna.

It is recognised that global warming will increasingly impact the integrity of ecosystems and the survival of many plant and animal species is at risk.

The proposed legislative changes put economic considerations above concern for our unique biodiversity which, once lost, is irreplaceable.

Central to my beliefs is recognition that the earth, integrity of creation and our natural world are gifts to be preserved and cared for, not exploited and squandered. I am greatly influenced by Pope Francis 2015 encyclical 'Laudato Si - on care for our common home'. We are the custodians for future generations, it is essential that any development maintain or improve environmental outcomes.

Amongst the many disturbing aspects of this legislation I would emphasise the following:

* Environment and ecological considerations should be paramount: Laws should preserve ecosystems and support biodiversity. Our current laws should not be weakened. Many unique Australian species have already been lost. There are currently nearly 1000 species on the endangered list which need protection.

* Biodiversity offsets are not acceptable. It is impossible to compensate for loss of habitats. Ecosystems are unique and cannot be moved or substituted. It is especially worrying that relaxation of the 'like for like' provision will allow cash payment in the event that a 'suitable offset' cannot be found. This suggests a fundamental lack of scientific and ecological understanding and supports a 'develop at all costs' response.



* Greater understanding of the effects of climate change are urgently needed: proposals for weakening land clearing restrictions are contrary to the Federal Government's 'direct action plan' which restricts land clearing, keeps trees in the ground and encourages planting more to assist Australia reach its COP21 Paris commitments.



* Use of Self-assessment codes to determine native vegetation for preservation is far too subjective and likely to encourage large scale land clearing leading to land degradation, salinity and erosion as well as accelerating loss of biodiversity.



* Trees act as 'carbon sinks' removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Loss of trees means increased CO2 pollution in the atmosphere.



* Old trees have hollows essential for birds and native fauna and should be preserved and protected, not removed.



* Mining should be prohibited in Water catchment areas to ensure clean drinking water is not compromised or polluted.



* Australia is a dry continent needing careful protection of scarce water resources. Water is essential for all life. Catchment areas, creeks, rivers and lake systems and the integrity of the Great Artesian basin must all be protected from mining and given top priority to ensure clean water into the future.



* All land clearing needs professional monitoring to assure biodiversity maintenance and improvement. In recent years funds have been withdrawn from this service causing extended delays in granting approvals.
North Sydney
NSW 2060
25th June 2016
Biodiversity Submissions
PO Box A290
Sydney South
NSW 1232
Dear Sir/Madam,
Re: Proposed land clearing legislation - Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016 and Local Land Services Bill 2016
I am writing this submission to express my concern that the proposed changes to native vegetation legislation in NSW will be a retrograde step, reversing many of NSW long held environmental protections. These legislative changes will lead to loss of biodiversity, native vegetation, bushland habitats and urban bushland, parks and green space.
I oppose the NSW Government's proposed new laws and support stronger protection for native vegetation and wildlife flora and fauna.
At this time of increasing impacts of climate change, global warming, huge pressures for housing and infrastructure developments, coal seam gas exploration, coal mining expansion and broad scale farming, there is an urgent need for stronger protections of our native flora and fauna.
It is recognised that global warming will increasingly impact the integrity of ecosystems and the survival of many plant and animal species is at risk.
The proposed legislative changes put economic considerations above concern for our unique biodiversity which, once lost, is irreplaceable.
Central to my beliefs is recognition that the earth, integrity of creation and our natural world are gifts to be preserved and cared for, not exploited and squandered. I am greatly influenced by Pope Francis 2015 encyclical 'Laudato Si - on care for our common Home. We are the custodians for future generations, it is essential that any development maintain or improve environmental outcomes.

Amongst the many disturbing aspects of this legislation I would emphasise the following:

* Environment and ecological considerations should be paramount: Laws should preserve ecosystems and support biodiversity. Our current laws should not be weakened. Many unique Australian species have already been lost. There are currently nearly 1000 species on the endangered list which need protection.

* Biodiversity offsets are not acceptable. It is impossible to compensate for loss of habitats. Ecosystems are unique and cannot be moved or substituted. It is especially worrying that relaxation of the 'like for like' provision will allow cash payment in the event that a 'suitable offset' cannot be found. This suggests a fundamental lack of scientific and ecological understanding and supports a 'develop at all costs' response.



* Greater understanding of the effects of climate change are urgently needed: proposals for weakening land clearing restrictions are contrary to the Federal Government's 'direct action plan' which restricts land clearing, keeps trees in the ground and encourages planting more to assist Australia reach its COP21 Paris commitments.



* Use of Self-assessment codes to determine native vegetation for preservation is far too subjective and likely to encourage large scale land clearing leading to land degradation, salinity and erosion as well as accelerating loss of biodiversity.



* Trees act as 'carbon sinks' removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Loss of trees means increased CO2 pollution in the atmosphere.

Old trees have hollows essential for birds and native fauna and should be preserved and protected, not removed.



* Mining should be prohibited in Water catchment areas to ensure clean drinking water is not compromised or polluted.



* Australia is a dry continent needing careful protection of scarce water resources. Water is essential for all life. Catchment areas, creeks, rivers and lake systems and the integrity of the Great Artesian basin must all be protected from mining and given top priority to ensure clean water into the future.



* All land clearing needs professional monitoring to assure biodiversity maintenance and improvement. In recent years funds have been withdrawn from this service causing extended delays in granting approvals.



* Rather than farmers feeling punished by restrictions on land clearing, they should be encouraged by a scheme of remuneration for retention of native vegetation. Benefits for maintenance of biodiversity and protection of native vegetation should be introduced.

I therefore call on the government to withdraw the Draft Biodiversity Conservation Act and Local Land Services Amendment Act, and commit to laws which will genuinely improve outcomes for nature.



Yours Sincerely,

Angela Burrows


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