Will this be Premier Baird’s defining moment?
Australia has an awesome natural environment, the envy of the world. It is an essential part of our great outdoors way of life – our beaches, our bush, our rivers, our clean air and water.
You just have to look at our multi-billion-dollar tourism industry to see just how many people are attracted to our special places, like Byron Bay beach and the Blue Mountains.
Nature and the great outdoors are part of what defines us as Australians.
However, nature is not only our backyard- it is home to some of the most unique animal species in the world.
Sadly, the NSW Government, under Premier Mike Baird, is failing to protect our forests, oceans and our wildlife.
Next week, Premier Baird could make a decision which would set the NSW Government on a dangerous course and leave their environmental credibility in tatters.
In July this year, Glendon Turner, an Officer from the Office of Environment and Heritage died a tragic death in the line of duty attempting to enforce the Native Vegetation Act to stop illegal deforestation.
As we speak some politicians and interested parties are poised to use Glendon’s tragic killing for their own political gain, by using the circumstances as a pretext for passing the Shooters and Fishers Party (S&FP) Native Vegetation Amendment Bill 2014 and repealing key provisions of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NVA). An Act that has saved an estimated 265,000 native mammals in just five years.
Support for the S&FP Bill, or any other measure to fast-track the existing review of the state’s biodiversity laws, would send a message to the community that violence is a legitimate tool to change laws or achieve other political objectives.
This is simply unacceptable.
Australia’s wildlife crisis
As Australian’s we are privileged to live in a society where we have the ability and the wealth to protect our species on our home soil, yet we don’t.
What many people don’t know is that Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinction on Earth. Almost one-third of the mammals that have become extinct globally in the past 200 years were Australian.
This terrible track record is made worse by the fact that most Australian mammals aren’t found anywhere else in the world. When we lose an Australian species, it is likely that the planet loses that species forever.
The single, biggest threat to wildlife is habitat loss, mainly driven by human activity. Our unique and iconic animal species are losing their homes at an unsustainable rate– from deforestation for timber primarily ending up as woodchips, to urban clearing for development, to large scale clearing for mining and gas projects.
Our landscape here in New South Wales has already been heavily cleared, with little remaining remnant forest. We do not have much left to lose.
In NSW alone over 40% of our luscious forests have been lost forever and over 1000 plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction.
An independent panel is currently reviewing our Biodiversity laws to develop a plan for a sustainable future. This review includes both the Native Vegetation Act and the Threatened Species Act. Changing the Native Vegetation Act now would be a serious undermining of this process.
Can you spare 10 minutes today? Nature needs your help.
We need the Premier to know that these laws are essential. Contact Mike Baird’s office today and let him know you are very concerned by the potential passing of the Shooters and Fishers Bill because it will:
• Set NSW back 10 years by returning to the dark days of broad-scale deforestation across NSW, having a devastating impact on biodiversity.
• Seriously weaken powers and penalties against illegal deforestation.
• Create major loopholes in consent and compliance.
• Illustrate that the Baird Government is happy to compromise what is in the public’s best interests for dirty backroom political deals.
• Undermine the transparent and community driven process that has already been established by the NSW Government (the Biodiversity Review).
We know the most powerful thing you can do is pick up the phone.
Please call the NSW Premier today on (02) 9976 2773
(If you’re more comfortable leaving a message, simply call after 5pm or this weekend)
Prefer to send a letter or email?
Address: 2 Wentworth Street Manly NSW 2095