Dear Sir/Madam, I oppose the NSW Governments proposed new land clearing laws. I am a long term member of Birdlife Australia and understand clearly the impact on Australian birds of habitat loss and degradation. Many of our species are listed as Threatened, ie heading for extinction, while many of our once-common species are in serious decline. Our native vegetation / land-clearing laws and legislation need to be tightened and strengthened to better protect native vegetation, not reduced. Existing controls are already failing to protect our wildlife. Most people wishing to remove native vegetation have no idea what fauna is dependent on that vegetation, or the ecological role it plays. It is completely unsatisfactory to allow self-assessment by people unqualified to make such judgments. I am also a land holder and understand the desire to achieve maximum productivity from the land, but have also devoted much of my life to restoring native habitat on my property. My efforts, and those of other concerned Australians who work tirelessly to restore wildlife habitat, must not be negated by your proposed negative changes to land clearing laws. 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; -> 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. 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, Faye Hill 2484

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