Comments

Dear Sir/Madam, I cannot express my concerns about these legislative changes more clearly than the following submission. Anything worth clearing has already been cleared for agriculture. The native organisms which depend on what we have left have nowhere else to go. Many are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Woodland birds are declining throughout the state. These are precious and irreplaceable. Offsets always end up leaving less conservation land than than was started with. It is a flawed system which can allow these offsets to be devastated at some future time. And if they must go ahead it should be like for like, not something else. In addition it is much cheaper and more efficient to retain an ecosystem that to try to rehabilitate it afterwards. I speak from some knowledge and experience of ecosystem management as a biology graduate, teacher and member of a number of government committees involved with this work. Please don't make the changes which will lead to further decline in biodiversity and deep regret in the future. I 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 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 faithfully, Jane Judd 2357

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