Adam Guise, Greens candidate for Lismore
I am disappointed that changes to Rural Fire Service laws means street trees are being chopped down under the pretence of bushfire protection.
These laws were introduced by the Liberal National government following the bushfires of 2013. The so called 10/50 measures allow home owners near designated bushfire prone areas to clear trees within 10 metres or shrubs within 50 metres of a home without approval.
I am calling on the government to suspend these laws until an independent and comprehensive review of the code is carried out.
Under the 10/50 laws, large numbers of trees identified as being part of endangered ecological communities or otherwise protected are being destroyed.
These laws were introduced supposedly for bushfire protection but are instead being abused by some landowners,
Already there are examples of landowners in Goonellabah removing established koala feed trees, and unscrupulous developers in Fingal Head bulldozing endangered littoral rainforest,
Appropriate clearing for bushfire protection is not the issue. Rather, it’s the inappropriate use of the 10/50 laws that were implemented without community consultation,
It’s a failure of the Liberal National government to create laws which override existing protections provided by councils and environmental legislation, such as the Threatened Species Act,
This loss of crucial biodiversity is unacceptable. I call on the government to suspend these laws until an independent and comprehensive review of the code is carried out.”