Ignoring the widespread concern of a range of stakeholders, the Berejiklian Government will introduce its disastrous tree clearing laws tomorrow, even before essential components, such as regulatory mapping, have been completed.

“The Total Environment Centre has warned the government about the damage these laws will inflict on bushland and wildlife across NSW,” said TEC Executive Director Jeff Angel.  “Sydney is not exempt. Developers will now routinely pay cash in exchange for clearing precious wildlife habitats.” 

Mr Angel said that the Berejiklian Government’s decision to turn on these laws, “without even completing the basic regulatory map that tells landholders what they can and can’t clear, is utterly irresponsible.” 

Submissions from apprehensive stakeholders on the draft Biodiversity Conservation regulations, include the Law Society of NSW submission which identifies ‘serious concerns that regulatory instruments exhibited disclose that there are a number of areas where detail has not yet been finalised or made public including, in particular, regulatory maps.”

The Local Government NSW submission states that "Councils have expressed concern that the new [land clearing] system is highly complex, and rather than simplifying processes, the system has created more complex pathways and options for approvals for land clearing.  Significant concern exists that this may lead to a weakening of biodiversity protection at a local level and fail to achieve a ‘no net-loss biodiversity outcome.”

Similarly, the submission of the Royal Zoological Society of NSW describes the new laws as “a major retrograde step for biodiversity conservation.” 

Last week the Australian Senate agreed to write to the NSW Government to request a delay in the commencement of the laws until the associated regulatory mapping has been completed and the biodiversity offset scheme meets Commonwealth standards. 

“Unfortunately, it is blatantly obvious that the only stakeholders the Government has listened to so far are those that can’t wait to start clearing land they previously couldn’t touch,” said Mr Angel. 

“This is a tragic situation for our wildlife and for everyone who believes in the importance of responsible Government,” concluded Mr Angel. 

For more info please contact Corinne Fisher: 0421831889; Jeff Angel: 0292115022 / 0418273773

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