NSW Government response to biodiversity review
NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Environment Minister Rob Stokes today released the NSW Liberals & Nationals Biodiversity Reform Directions Statement in response to the report of the independent expert panel’s review of biodiversity legislation.
Mr Grant said a re-elected NSW Liberals & Nationals Government would implement the independent expert panel’s recommendations as an integrated package of reforms.
“Our reforms will implement all of the panel’s recommendations and deliver an enhanced overall environmental outcome. We will draft a Bill to replace the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and give effect to the recommendations for new biodiversity conservation legislation,” Mr Grant said.
“Our reforms will end Labor’s legacy of ineffective biodiversity laws that failed to adequately conserve our native vegetation and got in the way of farmers.
“The reforms will reflect the independent expert advice that positive environmental outcomes are best achieved by putting more protections in place across a region.
“Our reforms will end the site-by-site incremental erosion of biodiversity overseen by Labor and apply consistently to all landholders, ensuring the whole community is responsible for biodiversity protection.
“The Liberals & Nationals recognise the value of farmers and primary producers as environmental custodians and we will ensure farmers alone are not left with the challenge of protecting our environment.
“Landholders have a direct interest in ensuring biodiversity is sustained into the future and they deserve greater autonomy in managing their own land.”
Mr Stokes said the Government’s intention was to release an Exposure Draft Bill later this year focussed on conserving biodiversity and recovering threatened species.
“The new Act will use an evidence-based approach to biodiversity conversation and will adopt the recommendations by the independent expert panel,” Mr Stokes said.
“Our reforms will be supported by significant and ongoing investment in biodiversity outcomes, including a record investment in threatened species recovery efforts, with $100 million allocated over five years to protect the State’s unique and endangered plants and animals.
“The reforms offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve landscape health, ecosystem function, land-use productivity and conservation outcomes across NSW.”