WWF-Australia has commissioned a report that finds more than 2.2 million hectares of koala habitat could be cleared under proposed changes to tree clearing controls in NSW.
‘That represents about ten per cent of the known or likely koala habitat in NSW,’ says the WWF.
‘In total more than eight million hectares of the state’s trees, forests and woodlands could be bulldozed.’
The NSW government is introducing four new self-assessable codes for land clearing: management, efficiency, equity and farm planning.
Environmental consultancy Eco Logical Australia analysed the potential impacts of one of those codes – the equity code.
WWF-Australia commissioned this report because ‘the NSW government has failed to provide any estimates of the impact on clearing rates from these proposed changes and all freedom of information requests have been denied’.
‘Under what’s proposed tree clearing will be out of control,’ said Dr Francesca Andreoni, WWF-Australia forest and woodland conservation policy manager.
‘We can’t allow our last remaining areas of forest and bush to be bulldozed.
‘Scientists have warned that the new laws could see a return to broadscale clearing in NSW – this report is further proof that they’re right.
‘There are already major concerns about koalas with fears they are rapidly disappearing in NSW.
‘This amount of clearing would put koalas and many other species of wildlife in the express lane to extinction in NSW,’ she said.