It is five years since new laws for biodiversity conservation and native vegetation clearing were introduced in NSW. It is time to ask – are those laws working to protect biodiversity and appropriately regulate land clearing?
In the last five years we have seen a significant increase in rural land clearing since the clearing rules were relaxed; species added to our threatened lists; impacts of drought, bushfire, floods; changes to climate policy; serious concerns raised around relaxed biodiversity offsetting rules; and ongoing koala policy debates. The NSW Audit Office, Natural Resources Commission and a parliamentary inquiry have all already raised serious concerns about the regulation of habitat clearing and the regulatory framework in NSW.
This submission addresses a Discussion Paper produced as part of the LLS Review of native vegetation clearing rules on rural land.