Conservation groups in NSW welcome today’s Land and Environment Court ruling that the NSW land-clearing codes are invalid because they were made unlawfully, without the prior approval of the Environment Minister.
We call on the government to go back to the drawing board and forge a new regime of conservation laws that address the many threats that face our wildlife, bushland, soils, water supplies and climate.
It is clear from the Office of Environment and Heritage document, obtained under freedom of information laws and made public earlier this week that the land-clearing laws would have the opposite effect.
By the government’s own assessment, the laws will:
• Expose 99% of identified koala habitat on private land to clearing; and
• Increase land clearing by up to 45%.
Land clearing is a significant driver of species extinction, soil and water degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions, and new evidence of the dire threats to these vital resources is reported with increasing frequency.
Today’s court decision gives Premier Gladys Berejiklian the opportunity to pause and reconsider these deeply flawed laws, which were introduced against the wishes of the overwhelmingly majority of the pubic and the advice of the scientific community.
It is time Ms Berejiklian made this issue a personal priority, for the sake of our wildlife, bushland and future generations.
We pledge that the conservation movement will not rest until we have the strong, effective environmental protection that nature deserves.
MEDIA CONTACT: James Tremain, 0419 272 254
Joint statement by:
Nature Conservation Council
National Parks Association of NSW
Humane Society International Australia
The Wilderness Society
Total Environment Centre