9 May 2019

Environment report card shows Berejiklian failing

The Environmental Protection Authority’s report card for the Berejiklian government is an F for failure, according to Nature Conservation Council Campaigns Director Daisy Barham. 

“Failure is the only way to describe a 30% increase in the number of species listed as critically endangered in just three years. Any species on that list is practically on death’s doorstep,” Ms Barham said.

“There has also been a 244% increase in approved land clearing since the last State of the Environment Report released in 2016, which is no surprise given the government changed the law to make it easier to bulldoze habitat.

Key findings of the 2018 State of the Environment Report 

  • 400% increase in number critically endangered species since 2008 (up from 20 to 100).
  • 244% increase in approved land clearing.
  • 30% increase in number critically endangered species since 2015 (up from 77 to 100).
  • 1025 species listed as threatened with extinction (3% increase in three years).

“Like the rest of the world, NSW is facing an extinction crisis that demands that our governments take a radically different approach to nature conservation.

“New Environment Minister Matt Kean must chart a new course and enact laws to end the deforestation crisis, protect threatened species habitat and tackle climate change.

“Everything this government has done over the past eight years have pushed in the opposite direction.

“Deforestation is driving extinction in NSW yet Premier Berejiklian has given into industry demands to destroy forests and woodlands across the state.

“She has made it easier for big agribusiness and developers to bulldoze bushland and has open old-growth forests to clear-felling.[i] 

“The Berejiklian government knew deforestation was pushing koalas and other wildlife to extinction before it passed weaker deforestation laws in 2017, but it passed them anyway.[ii]

The Berejiklian government must end the deforestation and land-clearing crisis by:

  • Ending logging of public native forests to protect what is left of these beautiful ecosystems, which are among the most diverse in the world;
  • Ending broadscale land clearing.
  • Making potential koala habitat, threatened species habitat, and other high-conservation-value areas off limits to clearing;
  • Creating the Great Koala National Park to save our iconic species for future generations;
  • Reducing our reliance on dirty coal by ensuring 4,000 megawatts of clean energy enters the NSW grid in this term of government; and
  • Developing a comprehensive plan to implement the government’s ‘firm commitment’ to get to zero-emissions by 2050.

References

2018 NSW State of the Environment Report - here soe.epa.nsw.gov.au 

[i] The Berejiklian government introduced the Biodiversity Conservation Act and substantially weakened the Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals, environmental controls on forestry and logging operations. 

[ii] Departmental advice to then Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton. https://www.nature.org.au/media-releases/2018/03/minister-knew-99-of-koala-habitat-would-be-exposed-to-land-clearing/

Tags

Forests and wildlifeMarine ConservationClimate and energyNSW ParliamentRivers and wetlands

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