A review of the NSW Government’s proposed biodiversity reform package shows there is a need for land management and biodiversity conservation reform, according to NSW Farmers.
NSW Farmers’ Conservation and Resource Management Committee Chair and Ilford grazier Mitchell Clapham is pleased the report acknowledges the flaws of the current legislation and the need to move forward.
“We know the current laws are sending biodiversity backwards. We need modern, scientific and equitable legislation,” Mr Clapham said.
“We have been calling for the repeal of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 because it promulgates the ‘lock up and leave’ ideology, which is a proven way to destroy biodiversity, turning potentially high conservation value areas into rack and ruin, and turning farmers offside in the process.
“Today’s report on the new Biodiversity Act submissions shows one element of universal agreement: the current Act is out-dated, needs reform, and farmers need a more equitable scheme to work with.”
Mr Clapham said the NSW Farmers submission represented the view of thousands of members.
“The “click and submit” opposition to the Government’s proposed reform package is a predictable response from the environmental lobby- it’s all too easy for those not directly affected by these laws to oppose, and not offer any viable solution,” he said.
“The science says ‘lock up and leave’ doesn’t work.
“Farmers are the best placed to provide ecosystem services, and in order to do that they need to be able to manage vegetation in the best interests of the farms and of the region.”
While acknowledging the reforms go some of the way to helping farmers and biodiversity, NSW Farmers is calling for amendments including removal of caps from the codes of practices.
“ Farmers need to be able to make decisions on-farm that are in the best interests of both productivity and the environment. There is an opportunity to achieve biodiversity improvement and productivity gains to ensure food and fibre supply for future generations,” Mr Clapham said,