Dear Sir/Madam, I wish to register my strong opposition to the NSW Governments proposed new land clearing laws, the Draft Biodiversity Conservation Act and Local Land Services Amendment Act. I believe these bills, if passed, will remove controls that are vital to the preservation of biodiversity in this state. I also believe that preservation of biodiversity is of immense importance to the future of the state. I object to proposed changes that will increase land clearing and carbon pollution, push wildlife closer to the brink of extinction and undermine the sustainability of our farmland. The Native Vegetation Act 2003 and Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 , which the bills propose to repeal, are important laws that have functioned well to preserve habitat that is important to the survival of threatened species. These laws must not be dis-empowered in any way. The current requirement to maintain or improve biodiversity values, must remain in force. Safeguards, such as red flag areas for environmentally sensitive areas, established by people with appropriate knowledge of ecology, should remain in place and be strengthened. People who lack training in ecology will often not recognize areas of ecological importance The proposed expansion of self-assessable codes, allowing landholders to clear trees with little oversight is particularly alarming, for the same reason. Using biodiversity offsets, with variations to like for like offsetting, misses the point of biodiversity conservation: if you allow someone to clear land that holds endangered species, then they are gone and no offset will bring them back. Allowing proponents to pay money into a fund instead of conserving habitat is a travesty of conservation. 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, {David} {Freeland} {2088}

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