Comments

Dear Premier I oppose the NSW Governments proposed new land clearing laws, because they will lead to widespread destruction of bushland and native habitat. Self-regulation does not work and is open to abuse - I've seen past court cases under SEPP 46 (prior to the NVA) where the defendant has claimed exemption after exemption to add up to a cumulative total 'legal' clearing over 80 hectares of bush on the north coast. And similar cases in western NSW where 'imaginative' use of exemptions have been used to justify 'legal' clearing hundreds of hectares of woodland. Allowing landholders to self-regulate through assessable codes will wipe out biodiversity in NSW. A corner store isn't permitted to redevelop into a Woolworths supermarket without an independent environmental impact assessment process - neither should grazing lands be redeveloped as a broadacre cropping enterprise, or a 'bush block' be turned into a 'hobby farm' without an independent environmental impact assessment process, backed up by strong and effective biodiversity protection laws. Just look at how many species are already listed as threatened to see the result of decades of uncontrolled landclearing. Look at the satellite images of land clearing that has occurred since 2003. It is more effective and cheaper to properly protect what is still left, rather than fiddle around with species that become threatened due to preventable actions. The government is the steward of the State's biodiversity assets - so act like one. Don't let the State's natural assets be chipped away by the self-interested or those with little knowledge of ecological processes and the consequences of habitat destruction. 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. Graeme Pussell

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