Comments

Dear Sir/Madam, I oppose the NSW Governments proposed new land clearing laws, and support stronger protection for bushland and wildlife. The rate of clearing paddock trees in NSW has more than doubled since Nov 2014 when a new self assessment code was introduced. 21,716 (50 per day) have been removed 140% more than the average over the past 7 years. 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 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 an ethical difference between setting priorities for expenditure and consciously deciding to let habitats or species become extinct. 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. The proposed Act with its misnomer title is a giant step backwards. 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, Cynthia Cowan 2207

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