Independent biodiversity review released

NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Environment Minister Rob Stokes today welcomed the independent expert panel report on the review of native vegetation and threatened species laws.

Deau National Park

Mr Grant said the independent panel’s recommendations included replacing the Native Vegetation Act, Threatened Species Act and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act with a new single piece of legislation that will ensure a balanced approach is taken in managing biodiversity, using a triple bottom line approach.

“The NSW Government is yet to form a response to the review but it’s pretty clear that based on this independent review, the Native Vegetation Act should be abolished,” Mr Grant said.

“I am confident the independent review’s findings will help us chart a path forward.

“For too long, farmers have been treated differently to all other landholders in the State and have faced many regulatory burdens in managing their land.

“Farmers are some of the best possible custodians of our land as they have a direct interest in ensuring biodiversity is sustained into the future.

“Government action on this has taken far too long, but we are firmly committed to fixing the mess left by Labor.”

Mr Stokes welcomed the panel’s recommendations and a proposal to draft a new, integrated Biodiversity Conservation Act.

“The proposals set out in the report will modernise and simplify a fragmented and aging set of biodiversity laws that have never been comprehensively reviewed,” Mr Stokes said.

“The proposals in this report offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to implement transformational reforms and put in place a new law that will drive positive biodiversity conservation outcomes in NSW.

“I particularly acknowledge the recommendations that the Government must consider significant additional investment in private land conservation and our threatened species programs.

“The panel has made it clear that their recommendations should be implemented as an integrated package of reforms. This is necessary to ensure that we achieve our dual objectives to facilitate ecologically sustainable development and to conserve our environment.”

The NSW Government will now consider the report and provide a response before the 2015 election.

To view the report, visit: Biodiverity legislation review