Clearing of Endangered Ecological Communities
I am concerned that the clearing of certain Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) other than those in low condition will be permissible under the proposed changes to the legislation. Under the Native Vegetation Act (NV Act), unless in low condition, EECs cannot be cleared. It's important to ensure EECs - often also areas of critical habitat in terms of fauna refuge and connectivity - are afforded the same level of protection as the existing legislation.
Removal of NV Act 'Improve or Maintain' Principle
I consider removing the 'improve or maintain' principle under the NV Act is a backward step and is likely to result in further and accelerated declines in biodiversity in NSW. I understand the BCT offers a significant injection of funds to support strategic private land conservation (which is both welcome and should be applauded). However despite this substantial allocation these funds will be spent, future funding will be contingent on budgets and legislated changes that will likely accelerate biodiversity losses will remain.
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