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Mayor says not enough time to consider biodiversity reforms

Friday 19 May 2017

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes says the NSW Government is not providing enough time for Council or local landholders to comment on new codes for land clearing.

Draft regulations for biodiversity and land conservation reforms are on public exhibition from 10 May to 21 June 2017, and Clr Innes is calling on the relevant Ministers to extend the submission deadline from six to at least 12 weeks.

“While this council welcomes the opportunity to comment on these previously missing components of the NSW Government’s land use reforms, we’re disappointed the exhibition period is so short.

“The exhibition package includes a large amount of information and the proposed changes are significant. And ideally, we’d also like to see the Native Vegetation Regulatory map that underpins the reforms available as part of this exhibition package.

“Six weeks is simply not enough time for Council and our community to review the documentation and provide meaningful feedback,” she said.

“I have written to the Environment and Primary Industries ministers requesting the deadline be extended, and have asked Member for Bega Andrew Constance to support this request.”

“In the meantime, I do urge Eurobodalla’s landholders not to miss this opportunity to make their feedback to the NSW Government about these important reforms.”

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016 were passed by the NSW Parliament in November 2016. However, the new legislation cannot commence until the regulations that are now on exhibition have been finalised. The new legislation will eventually repeal the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

The new legislation provides a regulatory framework for land management to support landholders to manage their land to ensure more productive farming methods and systems, while also responding to environmental risks. The legislation reforms also include changes to biodiversity assessment and offsetting requirements.

Landholders are urged to look at the information package and provide feedback to the NSW Government.

  • There are factsheets and submission guides available on the Land Management website to explain the products on exhibition and help prepare a submission.