Comments

Dear Sir/Madam, I am concerned that the proposed changes to the NSW Governments land clearing laws will increase land clearing and carbon pollution, push wildlife closer to the brink of extinction and undermine the sustainability of our farmland. These are my main reasons : >These changes are relaxing land clearing at a time when land clearing is 6 times more than what is detected by the NSW government, as evidenced by Prof Phillip Cribbins ANU research satellite data >He also found most offsets used for vegetation destruction go to preserve existing conservation areas >Office of Environment & Heritage approved just 15.6% of the total land cleared in 2007-2011 which proves there are inadequate restrictions on illegal land clearing now & current laws need to be tightened not relaxed >The intended mapping system to be used under bew regulations is unable to locate sensitive vegetation, trials have shown it to be just 17% accurate >To use covenanted properties as offsets goes against the underpinning wishes of the people that owned & covenanted them originally, this is a violation of rights of landowners. >Ultimate discretion to pass development proposals rests with the Premier only which undermines the democratic rights of the community to legal challenge. >Although the Draft Act claims that offsets will be made for specific species that are impacted by specific developments this is contradicted in other wording of the Act. Compounding the problem is the bio banking rules which allow assumptions to be made of where threatened species should be, these assumptions aren't required to be supported by evidence, hence there is no certainty that offsets will benefit the threatened species they are meant for. >OEH can choose to restrict information from the public register of offsets making public oversight impossible, and again undermining the democratic rights of the community to objection. Also I oppose: -> of the 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; -> the removal of the requirement to maintain or improve biodiversity values, leading to a decline in environmental outcomes, soil health, water quality and salinity; -> the limit of important safeguards, such as red flag areas for environmentally sensitive areas; -> Expanding the use of self-assessable codes, allowing landholders to clear trees with little oversight and; -> Increase of 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. I 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. Please count this as my submission to the proposed biodiversity conservation reform package. I give permission for this submission to be made public. Yours Sincerely, Annie Marlow, 2506

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