Comments

Dear Sir/Madam, I oppose the NSW Governments proposed new land clearing laws, and support stronger protection for bushland and wildlife. I am concerned that the proposed changes will increase land clearing and carbon pollution, push wildlife closer to the brink of extinction and undermine the sustainability of our farmland. I strongly oppose any self-assessed land clearing, since this will cause long term loss of irreplaceable bird habitat. Replacing the current Native Vegetation Act with the draft Land Services Amendment Bill will result in a significant downgrading from the current Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology, to self-assessment codes and discretionary clearing, without clear environmental targets. I believe that the NSW Government must make accurate calculations of the area of land likely to be cleared under the new legislation and provide this information to the public before the legislation is presented to Parliament. In particular, the NSW public needs to know how much land, listed as Endangered Ecological Communities or Critically Endangered Ecological Communities, will be cleared. I am particularly concerned with proposed changes that will: -> Repeal the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 - these are important laws that have led to a significant decrease in land clearing and habitat loss; -> Remove the requirement to maintain or improve biodiversity values, leading to a decline in environmental outcomes, soil health, water quality and salinity; -> Limit important safeguards, such as red flag areas for environmentally sensitive areas; -> Expand the use of self-assessable codes, allowing landholders to clear trees with little oversight and; -> Increase the use of biodiversity offsets, with variations to like for like offsetting and allowing proponents to clear trees in exchange for paying money into a fund. There is also conflict between the draft Biodiversity Conservation Act and the draft Land Services Amendment Bill. The two Bills will be in conflict over reducing the impact of listed key threatening processes and permitting increased land clearing. For example,

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