Comments

Dear Sir/Madam, I oppose the NSW Governments proposed changes to 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 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. Biodiversity is already under extreme pressure and to allow ongoing depletion of the environment is deplorable and very short sighted; -> 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. The potential loss of trees - critical components of habitat for a wide diversity of species- resulting from this will push many valued species off farmed land. Once the damage has been done any recovery will take many decades, 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. The assumption that damaged ecosystems can be restored to their original condition is simply wrong. We need to protect remaining habitat areas, not bulldoze them. 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 Johnson 2621

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