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150 hectares of habitat lost each day in NSW

Latest land clearing data shows 150 hectares of wildlife habitat is bulldozed or logged every day in NSW, almost twice the average annual rate recorded before the Coalition overhauled nature laws in 2016. [1] 

The annual Statewide Land and Tree Study (SLATS) data shows 54,500 hectares of native forest were destroyed for farming, forestry and development in 2019. 

“This astounding rate of deforestation is a disaster for wildlife and the climate. We call on the government to take urgent action to reverse the trend,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.   

“In just one year we have lost an area of forest four times the size of Royal National Park. It is simply unsustainable. 

“Using widely accepted data on wildlife population densities, clearing on that scale would have killed up to 9 million animals - mammals, birds and reptiles – in just 12 months. [2] 

“After the government weakened land clearing laws in 2016, deforestation rates doubled and have remained at these dangerously high levels ever since. 

“The Coalition promised its new laws would enhance protections for bushland and wildlife.  

“These figures, and the rising number of threatened species, shows the laws completely fail to deliver on that promise. 

“More than 1,020 plants and animals are now threatened with extinction in NSW, about 20 more than when the scheme was introduced. 

“The 74% of clearing is designated as ‘unexplained’ in this report shows the government has lost control of deforestation in NSW.  

“We welcomed the government establishing new national parks over the past year, but the national parks system covers less than 10% of the state.

“The government must stop uncontrolled deforestation on private land and in state forests if it is going to tackle the extinction crisis.” 

[1] Land cover change reporting, DPIE, June 2021  

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