See Below for Biodiversity Submission Resourses

Sign Petition – Don’t repeal Native Veg Act

Sign Petition – Don’t repeal Native Veg Act

GEPS Slideshow

GEPS Slideshow

Click to view GEPS slideshow on Draft Illawarra Growth and Infrastructure Plan

GEPS Submission

GEPS Submission

Click to read GEPS submission to the public exhibition of the draft Growth Plan in a new window

Download the Draft Growth Plan Document

GEPS submission to Shoalhaven Council regarding proposed removal of significant vegetation at Shoalhaven Heads

GEPS has prepared this submission to the proposed investigation into the location of a retirement complex at Shoalhaven Heads as well as any proposed LEP zoning review Council may undertake.

GEPS understands that there has been community pressure to locate a proposed retirement complex in biologically important bushland adjacent to the Shoalhaven Heads golf course and wish to inform Council of the significance of this vegetation and the values of the habitat of the Seven Mile Beach ecosystem.

The full submission can be found here.

GEPS submission to Kiama Council on Dune protection

In response to recent suggestions about the removal of dune vegetation at Jones Beach and Werri Beach, GEPS has made a submission to Kiama Council.

The Gerroa Environmental Protection Society urges Council not to modify the vegetation or structure of the sand dunes at Jones and Werri Beaches that is being promoted by the Beach Care group. These dunes play an important role in protecting residents from damaging ocean surges that are predicted to increase in intensity and frequency. They also provide a habitat of native plants and wildlife.

In the past Jones and Werri Beaches have been damaged by destructive east coast low storm events. Council used considerable resources to construct and vegetate these dunes in the early 90s to protect residents and reconstruct dune habitats.

It’s important to acknowledge how well this vegetation helped protect the community during the recent storm surges of 2016.

The full submission can be read here.

Coastal Policy Under Review – GEPS submission.

The Department of Planning and Environment, together with the Office of Environment and Heritage, is developing a new coastal management framework.

GEPS has completed a submission focussing on Coomonderry Swamp and Foys Swamp.

Click here to see a copy of the report.

Download GEPS Biodiversity Submission

Click here to download a copy of the GEPS Biodiversity submission

Make a submission – GEPS slideshow

Biodiversity Legislation Workshop June 20

The Gerroa Environmental Protection Society will be holding a workshop in association with the NSW Environmental Defenders Office at the Gerroa Neighbourhood Hall on Monday June 20 at 6PM to inform residents about the new State Biodiversity and land clearing legislation.

The State Government is scrapping the Threatened Species Conservation and Land Clearing Acts and part of the National Parks and Wildlife Act and replacing them with a watered down Biodiversity Conservation and amended Local Land Services Acts. These changes will lead to extensive land clearing, loss of biodiversity and increase atmospheric CO2.

This ADO workshop is to inform people about these laws and to provide material and suggestions to help make a submission by June 28.

Further information can be obtained at:
http://www.edonsw.org.au/serious_backwards_step_for_biodiversity_laws

http://www.nature.org.au/media/172084/briefing-note-biodiversity-legislation-review_september-2015_final.pdf

State Government public consultation sessions
The State Government will also be holding public consultation session at Nowra Showground Pavilion, West St, Nowra on June 2nd between 5:00 and 7:30PM and we encourage people to attend this session and express their concerns.

NSW Government website https://www.landmanagement.nsw.gov.au/have-your-say/

GEPS questions the absurd contradictions of the new Biodiversity Conservation Act

Gerroa Environment Protection Society
Media Release

A bio tax or a fairy dust windfall – it all depends in which Liberal National government you deal with.

Gerroa Environment Protection Society secretary Howard Jones questioned the absurd contradictions of State and Federal Coalition land management approaches with the release of the new Biodiversity Conservation Act?

“If the Baird government was proud of its draft Biodiversity Conservation and amended Local Land Services Acts it wouldn’t have sneakily released them under cover of the budget last Tuesday”. Howard said

“The reason for this cowardly strategy is they well know they have a fight on their hands with the entire environmental movement up in arms over this catastrophic bill and want to keep it under voter’s radar in this politically charged election season. All the peak environment groups walked out of their consultation meetings last month for good reason because this bill will lead to extensive land clearing, loss of biodiversity and increase atmospheric CO2”.

“The land clearing components of these laws will apply to rurally zoned lands in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven and when farmers or developers want to clear sensitive vegetation all they will be required to do is pay a ‘bio tax’ and in some cases self assess the environmental impacts”.

“This legislation will make it easier for farmers, developers and miners to clear biologically rare native vegetation, including Endangered Ecological Communities, and where offsets aren’t available they will be able to pay their way out of their responsibilities”.

“It’s absurd that the Federal Government is paying farmers hundreds of millions of dollars to keep forests in the ground under its Direct Action Plan while the NSW government is requiring farmers to pay for the right to clear these same forests in the name of biodiversity conservation”. Howard said
(see this months Direct Action Plan Auction results: http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ERF/Auctions-results/april-2016)

This new bill will see most of the significant environmental laws in the State scrapped, including the Threatened Species Conservation Act, Land clearing laws and part on the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

There is an eight week public consultation period for people who wish to make submissions on these draft bills and further information is available at: http://www.lanmdmanagement.nsw.gov.au

Howard H Jones (Secretary of the Gerroa Environment Protection Society)
Home 42323173
Mobile 0434400466

Council Amalgamation a threat to Kiama’s Biodiversity

The proposed forced amalgamation of Kiama and Shoalhaven Local Government Areas ignores the significant differences between the two areas topographically, geologically, agriculturally and biologically.

It also ignores the differences in the approach that the two Councils have taken to the protection of significant natural resources and how those differences are expressed in the Local Environment Plans for the areas.

GEPS Submission re Amalgamation highlights these and other issues that support the case for rejection of the forced amalgamation proposal.

Information about the proposed forced amalgamation and the submission process can be obtained by visiting a number of web resources:

One of the campaign websites that has up to date information can be seen here

Support with Submissions which are due by 28th February 2016 can be seen here

The Facebook site for the Kiama Anti-Amalgamation campaign can be viewed here

 

GEPS will hold a protest at Saddleback Lookout at midday on Wednesday 25th February to highlight these threats to Kiama’s rainforest.

Illawarra’s natural treasures under threat from proposed changes to nature conservation laws

The Baird government is poised to scrap nature conservation laws that currently protect some of the Illawarra region’s most important natural areas, including Seven Mile Beach, Saddleback Mountain rainforests and the Illawarra Escarpment, according to the Gerroa Environmental Protection Society.

The government is considering its response to a report by the Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel, which has recommended scrapping the Native Vegetation Act, the Threatened Species Conservation Act and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

“If the Baird government adopts the report recommendations it would be the most far-reaching dismantling of environmental protection laws ever proposed in this state,” GEPS secretary Howard Jones said.

The Report acknowledges that some of its proposals could lead to loss of biodiversity and its approach is risk- based.

“These proposals open the door to increased clearing of native vegetation. The purpose of existing biodiversity protection laws is to reduce land clearing and protect biodiversity. This Report heralds a different purpose that aims to make it easier for economic activities like agriculture, logging, development and mining within native vegetation areas. The mechanisms they propose to achieve this is; reduced regulations, self-regulation, the ‘broadening and deepening of biodiversity offsets’ and divestment of responsibility to Local Land Services and Councils.

“If this approach is accepted, the native vegetation in the Illawarra would be vulnerable.

“Although 87% of the Kiama’s original rainforest has been cleared, the areas that still stand are part of the largest area of subtropical rainforest in southeast Australia.

“Now that the council tree preservation orders no longer apply to this vegetation, its conservation depends on strong native vegetation and threatened species legislation.

“We fear that scrapping these Acts will make it easier for development to occur within this endangered ecological community.”

GEPS will hold a protest at Saddleback Lookout at midday on Wednesday 25th February to highlight these threats to Kiama’s rainforest.

“We also want to raise concerns about the consequences for landholders who have entered into Voluntary Conservation Agreements (VCAs) on their lands. Howard Jones said.

The Report proposes to enable Voluntary Conservation Agreements to be swapped for Biodiversity Offsetting Agreements. This would mean the values of these already conserved lands could be used to offset clearing of vegetation elsewhere, resulting in overall biodiversity losses.

“When we signed the Voluntary Conservation Agreement on our property, we thought its biodiversity values would be conserved forever.

“We are horrified to think that at some time in the future our VCA protected land in this remarkable rainforest could become a tool to enable vegetation destruction in other areas.

“We want to know whether the Baird government intends to adopt the recommendations in this report and go down the Queensland path of tearing down environmental protection.

“We hope that candidates and media will keep them to their commitment to announce their intentions unambiguously before the coming election so voters can determine if this government seriously cares about the environment.”

Local landowners with Voluntary Conservation Agreements and GEPS members and friends will gather at Saddleback Mountain Lookout near Kiama to express their concerns about these changes at 12:00 on Wednesday 25th February.

 

Media contact

Howard H Jones (Secretary, Gerroa Environmental Protection Society)

Phone 42323173 mobile:

Email hhjones@westnet.com.au

Link to Department of Environment Biodiversity Review Web Page: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/biodiversitylegislation/review.htm

Link to report :http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/biodiversity/BiodivLawReview.pdf