Dear Sir/Madam, I am horrified by, and strongly oppose, the NSW Governments proposed new 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 live in an area of Sydney that is already suffering from abuse of the 10/50 bushfire code with widespread clearing of trees and vegetation without oversight. My local area in Belrose is one of high biodiversity with an extraordinary number of rare and threatened species, much of it on private land and all of it contributing to both local and regional habitat and wildlife corridors. This local bushland is under sustained pressure from developers and private land owners who have only be held in check by strong environmental protection laws - the very laws that will be weakened or scrapped. This new legislation will exacerbate destruction of local bushland and put further pressure on local wildlife. 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, Greg McElroy 2085

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