11.5 C
Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Offset policy ‘hands bushland to coal industry on a platter’

Latest News

New attractions for Mullum2Bruns Paddle

There’s new free activities to enjoy at Banner Park in Brunswick Heads after this year’s Mullum2Bruns Paddle, which will be held this Sunday, May 26, from 9.30am till 2.30pm.

Other News

Shambolic roads

With regards to the Echo article, ‘Let’s dive deep into potholes’ (May 15), I am appalled at the attitude...

Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May.

St Helena Tunnel, Ewingsdale – changed overnight traffic conditions 

Essential maintenance at the St Helena Tunnel will be carried out overnight on the Pacific Motorway at Ewingsdale from Monday, 27 May.

New attractions for Mullum2Bruns Paddle

There’s new free activities to enjoy at Banner Park in Brunswick Heads after this year’s Mullum2Bruns Paddle, which will be held this Sunday, May 26, from 9.30am till 2.30pm.

Angels Beach Drive, East Ballina temporarily closed today

Angels Beach Drive, East Ballina has been temporarily closed due to a broken water main just north of Prospect Bridge.

Dance for Brazil

The Mahico and Aruanda crews are joining hands to invite the entire community to be a part of Dance for Brazil – a day to flood Brazil with support, this Sunday in Byron Bay.

The NSW government’s new offset policy for major projects is a major step backwards and will condemn the remnant bushland of the Hunter Valley, according to anti-CSG campaigners.

Lock the Gate says the government claims to be giving landholders the opportunity to secure stewardship payments to protect important bushland, ‘but no such fund is actually established’.

‘This is a major step backwards for NSW. We are frankly shocked that given the mounting conflict in regions affected by mining, the government is again weakening protections and handing the landscape to the coal mining industry on a platter,’ alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said.

‘As usual, the coal industry thinks money solves all problems and the Government has given them just what they wanted – an option to buy their way out of responsibility to protect important bushland and wildlife habitat,’ she said.

‘We support giving landholders the option of financial support to look after the bush, but that’s not what is happening here: this is just a policy to allow the coal industry to drive our woodlands to extinction.’

Lock the Gate says the major problems with the policy are:

  • Instead of establishing clear ‘no-go’ areas for irreplaceable bushland and wildlife habitat, there will be a process of ‘further consideration’. Instead of clearly outlining that projects that have unacceptable impacts should not proceed, the government will be able to ‘consider if there are other factors that might allow the project to proceed with these impacts. This could include consideration of social and/or economic benefits of a project and if the impact can be appropriately ameliorated through additional conservation measures.’
  • The policy abandons the need for offsets to be the same biodiversity as the stuff being lost “where a proponent has demonstrated that they are unable to locate like-for-like offsets, offsets can be targeted to a similar or higher conservation priority” except for critically endangered species and nationally listed species.
  • The policy allows companies to claim offsetting credits for the future and uncertain rehabilitation of mine sites. Beautiful remanent and irreplaceble bushland and wildlife corridors will be able to be cleared on the future promise of regrowing bushland decades into the future.

‘For the last ten years, offset requirements for coal mines in the Upper Hunter have been messy and compromised: the terrible history of the failed offsets for the Maules Creek mine, and the conflict and angst it has caused is the most obvious example,’ Ms Woods said.

‘Instead of fixing that, the government is giving up on our bushland. It’s frankly appalling.’





Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Five hours spent at last Thursday’s Byron Council

If you need a fix of local government decision-making, you could dip into the odd five-hour online recording of what occurred at last Thursday’s Council meeting.

Editorial – Optics vs reform

One of the more hyped elements of last week’s federal budget was a $300 handout to every homeowner to alleviate the increase in energy costs.

Final kambo witnesses called, inquest yet to hear from Lore Solaris and Cameron Kite

The Jarrad Antonovich inquest ground inexorably towards its conclusion yesterday, with more evidence from witnesses showing the tragedy could possibly have been avoided, and certainly the ongoing damage lessened, if everyone involved had taken responsibility earlier.

A long story

I see that Israel supporters take exception to the expression ‘from the river to the sea’ as meaning that all Jews should be wiped...