Dear Sir/Madam, On Tilligerry Peninsula NSW we have lost hundreds of trees due to east coast lows and a pro development council's response in allowing a year long suspension of tree protection rules so any change is a threat to our remnant koalas with no real on ground action to support wildlife. The proposed weakening of the land clearing laws compounds the problem so I oppose the NSW Governments changes and support stronger protection for bushland and wildlife. Since we in Port Stephens are possibly about to be merged with Newcastle we have another issue in that there are no guidelines here for urban areas. Across Newcastle and Port Stephens the remaining bushland is often the only place that the community has to create community and tourism assets to the degree that often commercial areas and roads are being closed and developed as natural space. For community groups/volunteers to do this they need a government ethic of caring for the land, improving biodiversity values and increasing red flag powers for environmentally sensitive areas; Of course it is different over the great divide but we need to protect what we can. The farmer should not own the biodiversity. I call on the government to 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 faithfully, Fran Corner 2319

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