As a senior academic at a rural university with specialist expertise in human behaviour and environmental sustainability, and NSW landowner, I am very distressed to learn of the proposed changes being put forth by the NSW Government. I strongly object, in light of accumulated academic evidence, to the Local Land Services Amendment Bill replacing the Native Vegetation Act on the ground of significant and longterm environmental degradation for the popularist pursuit of short term economic gain for land managers, the majority whom have little formal higher educational credentials in biodiversity management and have competing economic self-interests guiding their decision-making. Putting Australia's land health in individual hands of primary producers and that are guided by weak legislation, lack accountability and fail to require scientifically-evidenced best practice for environmental health jeopardises existing native flora and fauna, fails to prioritise damage and risk prevention by relying on the dubious and flawed practice of offsetting, and turns conservation into a popularity contest which it is unlikely to win. Australia's thousand years in the making environment may be further discarded for immediate profit and political popularity, both which likely will result in ongoing reduced tax-payer funded protection. I want my high income tax dollars going to a public good, preserving what's left of our natural environment and creating innovative solutions that do not rely on private profit or paying individuals for ad hoc actions that may/may not prioritise conservation. The proposed bill lacks legislative rigour to enforce, unprejudicially, environmental damage, let alone strongly prevent further biodiversity lost and species extinction through land clearing. We must learn from the mistakes of our own and other countries' past and stop relying on our fragile environment for our economy, as this bill promotes through its ill-conceived self-management processes that even permit mining and offer more exemptions than protection.

Go back to submissions list