Just days after Mike Baird unveiled his dozen “Premier’s Priorities”, the state’s leading conservation groups will present their top 10 environmental issues to the NSW government.
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW, WWF Australia and National Parks Association of NSW are among the organisations behind the New Deal for Nature report, which will be launched in Parliament on Thursday.
‘There’s never been a more pressing time to make sure we get the basics right,” CEO of WWF Australia Dermot O’Gorman said in a statement on Thursday.
Ensuring important habitat is off limits to development and closing the loopholes that allow under-the-radar clearing are among the top 10 components.
In March the government announced a repeal of several existing conservation laws, which are to be replaced with a new Biodiversity Conservation Act, of which a draft bill is expected to be released in November.
‘Premier Baird has a great opportunity to protect important habitat for threatened wildlife, as well as ensuring endangered ecosystems are permanently protected from clearing,’ Mr O’Gorman said.
Mr Baird faced criticism on Monday as he unveiled his new reform roadmap of 30 state priorities, which replace hundreds of performance measures introduced by former premier Barry O’Farrell under the banner of a 10-year plan.
The Greens and Labor say the new priority list includes just one environmental measure – a promise to reduce litter by 40 per cent – and fails to capture some portfolios altogether, such as local government and multiculturalism.
A draft bill covering NSW’s urban, coastal and rural areas is expected to be released in November.