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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)
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