17 November, 2016

Conservation groups vow to restore environmental protections

Conservation groups have vowed to continue fighting for strong, just environmental protections for native animals and bushland after the Baird government today pushed its weakened land-clearing laws through parliament.

Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: “These laws will not deliver a lasting peace for landholders because conservationists are determined to struggle for as long as it takes to ensure that our government enacts and enforces just, effective protections for the wildlife and bushland that is our common heritage.”

National Parks Association CEO Kevin Evans said: “In 10 years’ time, when the effects of climate change start to bite and our farmlands become hotter, drier and less productive, people will look back at these laws and marvel at the negligence of the government that introduced them.”

The Wilderness Society National Director Lyndon Schneiders said: “It beggars belief that this government not only wants to send us back to the bad old days of erosion and salinity we saw in the ‘90s, but also wants to take the brakes off out-of-control land clearing at a time when climate change is making farming ever more difficult.”

Paul Toni, Conservation Director - Sustainable Futures, of WWF-Australia said: “It defies logic to legislate to accelerate land-clearing and wildlife habitat destruction when more native species than ever are on the brink of extinction, often because so much habitat has already been lost. These laws will also accelerate the destruction of topsoil, pollute watercourses, undermine efforts to address climate change and waste some of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the NSW and federal governments to rehabilitate our farms and forests over the last decade." 

Humane Society International’s Australian Director Michael Kennedy said: “The Baird government today has done the people of NSW a terrible disservice by passing these laws. We vow to hold Premier Baird and his government accountable for this act of environmental vandalism.”

Total Environment Centre Director Jeff Angel said: “Government talks about being in touch with the community – they are about to find out these laws are supported by no significant groups other than the big agribusinesses that stand to make super-profits by converting woodlands to crops.”

WIRES NSW CEO Leanne Taylor said: “These proposed laws will significantly increase suffering of animals killed, injured and displaced by land clearing. Land clearing already kills more than 200,000 mammals each year in NSW. Now that toll is set to climb.”



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