Government looking the other way, this affects everyone
THE NATIONALS AND Liberals in NSW have been presiding over a dramatic increase in land clearing, leading to biodiversity loss, dust storms and impoverished soils. Add to that the negative effect on containing greenhouse gas emissions.
New figures released by the Office of Environment and Heritage show rates of land clearing have increased by 300 percent since the Liberal-National Government’s watered-down native vegetation laws were introduced in 2017 — to please certain sectors of the farmer/grazier community.
National Parks and Wildlife Service cut by $200 million
The Labor Opposition has publicised the latest figures and Labor’s environment spokesperson Kate Washington (seen above) is calling for the NSW Government to reverse its relaxed clearing laws. She made the call on National Tree Day.
(Statistics have shown that clearing in Queensland, which preceded the NSW destruction, had the effect of negating federal government supported tree-planting efforts, promoted as a means of abating greenhouse gas emissions that are leading to climate change.)
Rather than protecting important native forests and habitat…
The Berejiklian Government has made it easier to bulldoze koala and other marsupial and bird habitats while also cutting funding to the National Parks and Wildlife Service by more than $200 million — including an $80 million cut this year, said Washington.
The OEH report reveals that 27,100 hectares were cleared in 2017–18, compared to 8,500 hectares in 2011–12.
|Year||Land cleared for crop, pasture, thinning (hectares)|
(released July 2019)
|TOTAL INCREASE||Land clearing up 300%, 18,000 additional hectares per year|
Source: NSW OEH Report NSW Woody Vegetation Change 2017–18
Auditor general report says no oversight
The figures come after a stinging Auditor-General’s Report found the Berejikilian Government is not effectively regulating or managing the clearing of native vegetation across the state. The Auditor-General questioned the ability of the laws to adequately respond to environmental concerns, and found that the Government was then failing to ensure the watered-down approvals were even being complied with.
Meanwhile: Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader John Barilaro continues to push to open Murray Valley National Park to logging
• Barilaro, National Party representative, at work By District Bulletin
Said Kate Washington for the Opposition: “Not only has the Government weakened protections so that sensitive habitats and ecosystems can be cleared, but, according to the Auditor General, they’re not even monitoring or ensuring compliance with their new watered-down laws.
“This impacts everyone across the state. If clearing can be approved without regard to scientific evidence, and illegal clearing isn’t prosecuted, the quality and integrity of our environment will deteriorate quickly. According to the Auditor-General, that’s already happening.