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NSW Election March 2023

The natural environment of NSW is fundamental to the state’s people, its economy and cultural identity. Our growing population relies on clean drinking water, clean air and a stable climate to sustain our health and wellbeing. In 2023 we will elect the next NSW Government. We want them to work hard to safeguard and restore the NSW environment for the benefit of our people, our economy and out sustainable future!  

The NCC policy platform, 'Our Environment, Our Future' sets out the path to get us where we need to be. 

Download the full policy document here.

 

Acknowledgement of Country 

Nature Conservation Council of NSW acknowledges the Country that nurtures and sustains us, the places where we live, work and play. We recognise the sovereignty of all First Nations people and acknowledge that it has never been ceded. We pay our respect to Elders past and present, and honour their continuing culture and connection to Country.  

We acknowledge the dispossession of First Nations peoples and the harm inflicted on people and Country in the more than 230 years since European colonisation began in 1788. We acknowledge the conservation movement of NSW has not always acted in solidarity with First Nations people and has at times worked against the fulfilment of their land rights and of justice – something the conservation movement now seeks to redress.  

This platform includes many objectives seeking to have the rights and interests of First Nations people recognised across these topic areas. We believe it is of utmost importance that First Nations’ rights to land, water, and culture are respected.  

We believe that the conservation movement is at its strongest when it is guided by First Nations voices, knowledge and wisdom. We undertake to embrace First Nations people in our movement, organisation and decision-making, and work together to protect, conserve and restore the land, waters, air, wildlife, climate, and culture of the many First Nations in NSW.

Slash climate pollution

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Coal-fired power generators still contribute 96% of total emissions from the NSW electricity sector, so solar and wind-powered generation must expand further and faster. We must reduce emissions by 75% by 2030, end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and make household energy efficiency a priority. 

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End coal and gas mining

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Coal mines and unconventional gas projects are a signicant source of greenhouse gases and a threat to public health, clean air and water, productive farmlands, natural areas and First Nations people’s cultural heritage. Let's end thermal coal exports, stop mining under water catchments and require polluters to pay for their damage to nature and communities.

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Protect health from polluters 

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Everyone who lives in NSW deserves to breathe clean air, but that is not always the case. We need to get our air quality standards up to scratch, and replace emissions that threaten our health, such as wood & gas heaters, petrol and diesel transport and fossil fuels. 

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Protect koalas

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We can and must reverse the decline in koala numbers by protecting all remaining habitat. Let's create the Great Koala National Park, map and end clearing of habitat and fund the revegetation and care of their homes.  

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End native forest logging 

The native forests of NSW are priceless biodiversity hotspots, carbon sinks and water sources and have enormous potential for recreation and tourism. We must stop logging them, support the workforce into plantation and other industries, enhance indigenous management and ownership, and never, ever use forest biomass for energy generation.  

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Expand and resource national parks 

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National parks and wilderness areas are the most effective way we have of ensuring nature is protected for future generations. Let's meet the 30 by 30 target by tripling our conservation estate and looking after these precious parks by putting conservation first. 

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Protect and restore habitat to save species 

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We are custodians of an extraordinary diversity of native plants, animals and landscapes. We have a responsibility to protect these for their intrinsic value, but also because healthy, functioning ecosystems provide services critical for our wellbeing and way of life. It is essential we overhaul the laws that are allowing habitat loss.  

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Better prepare for bushfire and recovery

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The 2019-20 bushfire season was devastating for people and biodiversity in NSW. We can improve the resilience of communities in bushfire-prone areas, and change management practices, including with cultural burning, to maintain biodiversity and prevent species extinctions. 

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Restore rivers and wetlands

 

Healthy rivers and wetlands are essential for native wildlife, First Nations cultural heritage and local communities. Our rivers must be treated as the connected, life-giving systems they are, and NSW must meet the demands of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.  

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Safeguard ocean wildlife 

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Only 7% of the state's marine waters are conserved as sanctuary zones, and marine conservation has been going backwards. Let's hit the 30 by 30 target by growing and properly protecting our sanctuary areas, and give our marine ecosystems the best chance by investing in science and education. 

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Planning laws for people and nature

 

It has never been more important to reform our planning system to prohibit habitat destruction, reduce emissions, adapt to the changing climate and put the principles of ecologically sustainable development into practice. Our planning laws should empower the people to determine what shapes their world. 

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Strive for zero waste 

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NSW generates 800,000 tonnes of plastics every year, yet only 10% is recycled. Single-use plastics bans are steps in the right direction, but NSW lags other states on the road to a circular economy, where production and consumption is minimised through product reuse, repair and recycling. 

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