I oppose the proposed changes because the legislation:
1. Will increase land clearing across NSW including urban areas
2. Fails to address cumulative impact and climate change
3. Puts a heavy reliance on an offsetting scheme that has been discredited
4. Creates uncertainty and loopholes in the system, rather than provides clarity and consistency
5. Enables public consultation to be summarised by the proponent, rather than allowing the issues to be identified and considered directly by the decision maker
6. Does not create a coherent scheme as proposed by the independent review panel, where and clearing would be accessed under planning laws. Rather its places the majority of clearing approvals with the Local Land Services, who don't have the expertise or resources.
7. Is confusing and contradictory, thereby creating uncertainty and complexity in both the assessment and compliance process
8. Lowers environmental standards and flies in the face of the Paris Agreement
The proposed package of 'reforms' is a missed once in a generation opportunity to introduce critical reforms that address significant threats to our environment. Rather the legislation is a retrograde step for NSW.
In conclusion, the legislation must go back to the table rather than be amended. We need strong reforms that protect our environment and rule out broad scale land clearing.
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