NSW LAND CLEARING CONTINUES TO SKYROCKET GOVERNMENT URGED TO ACT

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New figures out today show that average annual land clearing rates in NSW have increased 72 per cent after the Liberal and National Government’s watered down environmental protections against clearing in 2016/17, with 284,400 hectares of woody vegetation lost from 2016 to 2020.
 
“For all the talk about protecting land, water and biodiversity, this Government has allowed land clearing to skyrocket to unsustainable levels and there are no plans to change anything,” said Penny Sharpe, Labor’s Shadow Minister for the Environment.
 
“Fires and floods have already put threatened species under unbelievable strain, land clearing is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts on soil and water. Government decisions are exacerbating the problem without any real efforts to bring this under control or restore what has already been lost.”
 
The rates of clearing that aren’t explained by any legal approvals have been renamed ‘unallocated clearing’ and remain high at 50,245 ha in 2020, up 326 per cent since 2017.
 
“The Government may have changed the name of the land clearing to unallocated, but the results stay the same and are equally harmful.”
 
The 2016/17 changes by the NSW Government watered down biodiversity protections and allowed the rates of land clearing to increase dramatically across NSW. The Government then dumped a 3 year review into the changes – as a result there has been no opportunity to address the increased rates of clearing.
 
“Now that the 3 year review has been dumped, the upcoming 5 year statutory review is the best opportunity to bring land clearing under control. Labor urges the government to take the necessary action to arrest the rates of clearing”.

PENNY SHARPE MLC
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

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