National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) today expressed its opposition to the announcement by the Minister for the Environment of her intention to streamline native vegetation and threatened species laws.

The New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995, is the strongest law of its kind in the States and Territories, and has protected our State’s biodiversity for nearly twenty years. If there was any justification to amend this Act it should only be to strengthen it further not weaken its provisions.

This decision comes only weeks after the Queensland government amended their native vegetation legislation which effectively strips away protections for two million hectares of bushland and even allows farmers to clear remnant forest if they can “prove” it is for a high-value agriculture area.

“This is another sign that the Nationals and the Shooters and Fishers Party want to suppress environmental protection to render them ineffective against their agenda to exploit our natural areas,” said Kevin Evans, CEO National Parks Association of NSW.

“It would be a disaster for the NSW environment if they succeeded. Ten years ago NSW had the unenviable reputation of being one of the world’s worst land clearers.

Once again we are witnessing a State Government watering down environmental laws at the expense of the environment.”

The announcement by the NSW Government comes at a time when there are plans at the Federal level to hand over environmental powers to State and Territory Governments.

“It is now obvious to all that some State Governments will do anything to achieve sustainable economic growth, growth to be achieved with little regard for threatened species and their habitat that gets in the way of this goal. This latest move in NSW is more justification for federal oversight on issues of national environmental significance.

NPA calls on the federal government to retain a leadership role in environmental protection, to guarantee the conservation of our natural world in the interests of our nation and future generations,” Mr Evans concluded.

Media Contact: Kevin Evans, CEO National Parks Association of NSW Inc.
Mobile: 045 7797 977