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biodiversity is life


Our trees, plants and animals are too precious to lose

Sign the Open Letter to Premier Mike Baird

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biodiversity is life


Our trees, plants and animals are too precious to lose

Sign the Open Letter to Premier Mike Baird

 

time is running out

 Two days before the 2015 State Election, the Liberal/National NSW Government announced they would scrap the laws that protect our biodiversity, native animals and vegetation and replacing them with a much weaker and flawed model. There is no doubt this will lead to increased land clearing. The continued loss of what native vegetation we have left will be devastating to our environment, native animals and their habitat.

 
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Once biodiversity is lost, it is gone forever


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Once biodiversity is lost, it is gone forever


The signatories


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The signatories


Dear Premier Mike Baird

Biodiversity is life. Since 1788, sixty-one per cent of the original native vegetation of NSW has already been cleared, thinned or significantly disturbed, most of it in the last 50 years. Biodiversity legislation, such as the Native Vegetation Act 2003, the Threatened Species Act 1995 and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 have been instrumental in protecting our environment in the face of challenges such as inappropriate development and loss of habitat. 

Despite more than 80 per cent of the submissions to the Biodiversity Legislation Review calling for retaining or strengthening environmental protections, the recommendations call for the wholesale repeal of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 as well as the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 Act, and include only parts of them in a mooted new Act.

The Review has also called for greater use of biodiversity offsetting. The biodiversity offsetting approach in NSW, including the Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects,  is a deeply flawed and inappropriate policy instrument that results in net biodiversity loss. Instead of finding offset sites that match the ones that will be destroyed, the so-called ‘like for like’ principle, proponents will be able to just find broadly similar areas or even just pay into a fund

Native vegetation is crucial for biodiversity protection, and it also improves farm land value while increasing production outcomes. Protecting biodiversity and having controls on land clearing benefits the environment and the economy.

Yet your Government is persisting in implementing a system which will weaken environmental protection and increase land clearing leading to habitat loss and increased risks for threatened species.

Premier, two years ago, the Queensland Government severely undermined native vegetation rules, resulting in the doubling of land clearing, the removal of almost 300,000 hectares of bushland (20 times the size of the Royal National Park in Sydney) and the release of 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, further exacerbating climate change.

With more and more pressures on our environment, including from climate change, we need a strengthening, not weakening of environmental protections.

I urge you to abandon plans to abolish the Native Vegetation Act,  and work with scientists, experts and the community for an evidence-based and strong environmental management system that genuinely protects biodiversity and our native plants and animals. 

Yours Sincerely

  • Haydn Washington, Visiting Fellow, Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, UNSW Australia and author of 'Human Dependence on Nature' (2013)
  • Neil Perry,  Research Lecturer in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Western Sydney University
  • Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens MP and Senior Visiting Fellow, Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, UNSW
  • Lesley Hughes, former Chair of the NSW Scientific Committee
  • Dr Sriram Shankar, Senior Lecturer, ANU
  • William Laurance , Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation, Director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University, Australia & Singapore
  • Nicole Graham, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney.
  • Chris Dickman, FAMS, FRZS, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology, University of Sydney; NSW Plant and Animal Scientist of the Year - 2010.
  • Cheryl Szatow, Mayor, Ku-ring-gai Council.
  • Meg Sherval Senior Lecturer - Discipline of Geography & Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science & IT, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW.
  • Daniel Robinson, Senior Lecturer, Environmental Studies, UNSW
  • Tommy Wiedmann, Sustainability Assessment Program, UNSW Australia
  • Eli Bendall, Ecologist, Western Sydney University
  • John Talent, Emeritus Professor, Macquarie University
  • Neil Denison, President - Ballina Coastcare Inc
  • Michael Weston, Senior Lecturer, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Deakin University
  • John A. Talent (Emeritus Professor, Macquarie University)
  • Tony Hepworth, Chair, Landcare Illawarra
  • Tommy Wiedman, Sustainability Assessment Program, UNSW Australia
  • Associate Professor Shauna Murray, University of Technology Sydney
  • Judith Schinabeck, Sustainability Assessment Program, UNSW Australia
  • Stuart Khan, Associate Professor in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Byron Smith, Assistant Minister, St George's Anglican Church Paddington
  • Mark Selmes, Vice president Goulburn Field Naturalists Society
  • Chris Baker     Western Sydney University
  • Sally Chapman, Lightning Rock Conservation Area
  • Lorraine Vass, President, Friends of the Koala
  • Byron Smith, Assistant Minister, St George's Anglican Church Paddington
  • Andrew McGregor, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University
  • Raymond Mjadwesch, Consulting Ecologist
  • Carmel Brown, Catherine Hill Bay Landcare Site Leader
  • Joanna McLachlan, Rural Land holder in support of biodiversity
  • Euan Ritchie, Senior Lecturer in Ecology, Deakin University, Eureka prize winner for environmental research
  • Hugh Ford, Emeritus Professor in Zoology at the University of New England
  • Dr Lisa O'Neill, Ecologist,
  • Eli Bendall, Ecologist, Western Sydney University
  • Judith McNeill, Senior Research Fellow,
  • Simon Lumsden, Senior Lecturer, Philosophy, UNSW
  • Christopher Jordens, Associate Professor of Bioethics, University of Sydney
  • Keith Parsons, Board member and Hunter Regional Committee Chair
  • Barbara Stewart, Ecologist,
  • Beverly Sibthorpe, Vice-president, Pappinbarra Landholders Conservation Group
  • Michael Jones, Ecologist
  • Alison Hartman, Ecologist,
  • Amelia Thorpe, Senior Lecturer, UNSW Law
  • Byron Smith, Assistant Minister, St George's Anglican Church Paddington

Photo Credit: Koala- Taz https://www.flickr.com/photos/sporkist/3336244089