Scrapping Native Veg Act ‘black day for nature’ in NSW

Total Environment Centre director Jeff Angel gives the TEC’s view on environmental issues related to the environment

Conservation groups say they are appalled by the Coalition’s announcement that it will seek to repeal the Native Vegetation Act if returned to government this Saturday.

‘This is a black day for the state’s threatened wildlife and fragile soils,’ Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

‘The Native Vegetation Act is among the most important nature conservation laws in NSW because it protects so much of the state’s wildlife like koalas and gliders from indiscriminate destruction.

‘If new laws weaken protections for land and wildlife, Mike Baird will be remembered as the premier who took us back to the dark days of broadscale land clearing.’

Total Environment Centre executive director Jeff Angel said: ‘By leaving it so late in the campaign to announce this major policy shift, the Coalition cannot legitimately claim an electoral mandate for trashing the state’s most important nature conservation laws.

‘The Coalition proposes the most significant overhaul of the state’s conservation laws in more than a generation, so the community requires time to understand the full implications of scrapping these laws.’

Nationals leader Troy Grant and environment minister Rob Stokes announced today the Coalition would repealing the Native Vegetation Act 2003, remove the requirement that land clearing only be allowed if it improves or maintains environmental outcomes, and shift approval for vegetation clearing to the planning system.

Humane Society International campaign director Michael Kennedy said, ‘The Coalition partners have been highly susceptible to pressure from developers and extreme elements in the farming community.

‘We are concerned these elements will use their influence during the drafting of new laws to further unwind protections the community has fought decades to achieve.’

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