Call on our Environment and Planning Ministers to stand up for nature
The NSW Government has just released the final details of its new tree clearing legislation. These are called 'Regulations and Codes'. Also included is a new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) called the Vegetation SEPP, which addresses clearing of native vegetation in urban areas and environment protection zones.
As part of this package, a new, very flexible 'Biodiversity Offsets Management Scheme' has been created. Under this scheme, the alternative vegetation to be protected in order to compensate for the cleared vegetation (ie - the 'offset') does not need to be of the same ecological community or of the same habitat value. It can be located far away from the cleared area and worst of all - developers have the option of paying cash if a suitable offset cannot be identified.
It's cash for clearing. And it will be used a lot by developers.
Please join us in calling on our new Planning and Environment Ministers to object to the Government's farcical Biodiversity Offset Management Scheme. Our Environment Minister is Gabrielle Upton and can be reached on (02) 8574 6107. Our Planning Minister is Anthony Roberts and can be contacted on (02) 8574 5600.
Here is some information to help you make your calls:
How to make a call to our Environment and Planning Ministers?
Calling a Minister can seem daunting but it's important to remember that our elected representatives are there to act on our behalf. Calling a Minister is being proactive about exercising your democratic rights!
- Minister Upton's office number is (02) 8574 6107 and Minister Roberts' office number is 8574 5600. One of their staff members will answer. Let them know that you would like to leave a message for the Minister. The staff will be very polite and are used to taking calls from people just like you.
- Let them know that you are a NSW resident and that you are calling because you are concerned about the Government's plan to allow developers to pay cash in exchange for clearing native vegetation.
- Ask that your concern be expressed to the Minister and that she/he listens to your opinion and makes sure that the final tree clearing package does not allow cash payment in exchange for clearing native vegetation.
- Be clear that you want the Minister to intervene and fix this issue. Ask that the Minister gets back to you to make sure that he/she has fully heard your concerns and that he/she will address these concerns.
Key points you could make
The draft regulations, codes and Vegetation State Environment Planning Policy spell disaster for our wildlife and our communities.
- Developers will be able to clear important habitat in city and country though making cash payments BUT money cannot compensate for the destruction of nature.
- Any vegetation offsets must be of the same ecological community and habitat value as the vegetation being cleared. These offsets must also be located near the area where vegetation has been cleared - not hundreds of kilometres away.
- Our population is growing and the physical and mental wellbeing of communities is directly correlated with the amount of green space - trees, parks, bushland - located in their local area.
- Tree clearing fuels climate changes by releasing carbon pollution into our atmosphere. Carbon pollution will increase under these proposals.
During the 6-week public consultation period we have a real opportunity to get a better outcome for nature. Please join us and call our Environment and Planning Ministers today.