The NSW government has opened for public consultation draft regulations for the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016.
We fear that the new laws and regulations will result in a substantial increase in clearing in this state. Among the many disastrous elements of the new legislation and regulations is that landholders would be allowed to self-assess their own clearing plans even in koala habitat, on Crown Land and in threatened ecological communities.
We have seen similar self-assessment practices in Queensland result in the clearing of 84,000 hectares of koala habitat over a two year period between 2014 and 2016.
It is critical that before these new laws are switched on later this year, the codes and regulations are strengthened to exclude many sensitive areas from code-based self-assessment.
You have an opportunity to have a say about these new regulations. Please have a look at the NSW government portal.
The Wilderness Society has been working with many other conservation organisations against these new laws in an alliance called Stand Up For Nature. Together we are asking all our supporters to call the NSW Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, to register your concerns. Have a look and make an immediate impact on our new state government. The more calls that are made will make the government more nervous will be.
In addition we will provide more detailed analysis of the regulations and codes to help you with your submission over coming weeks—please keep an eye on our website and you are most welcome to contact our Sydney office on 02 9282 9553.
The Wilderness Society is committed to expose land clearing facilitated by these new laws. The destruction of important ecosystems, the loss of habitat, the further degradation of our soils and our rivers are the responsibility of the NSW government and they will be held to account.