coalition condemns NSW species and habitats to potential extinction
Humane Society International Campaign Director Mr Kennedy said today that, "The NSW Coalition Government’s announced intention to repeal the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 will result in the continuing and serious degradation of the state's fast diminishing biological diversity and the potential extinction of many of the states threatened species and habitats.
“The Nationals have been allowed to run riot with existing and sound conservation policies, and press statements by Deputy Premier Troy Grant are made in complete and utter ignorance of this state’s future conservation needs. Mr. Grant lives in a state of total denial when it comes to acknowledging the past damage that our environment has endured thanks to broad scale land clearing and the absolute need to keep the farming industry in check through existing vegetation protection regulations”.
This state election also takes place against the back-drop of an ongoing Commonwealth Government plan to devolve all its national environment powers and responsibilities under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to the states and territories. This means that all Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES), including World Heritage places such as NSW rainforests and threatened species such as the koala will become the sole responsibility of development-hungry states and territories – and the NSW Coalition has just shown us why we are heading for very big environmental trouble. State governments will be able to both promote and make environmental decisions about their own development proposals without Commonwealth oversight, which would be an unmitigated disaster for communities and the environment.
Humane Society International (HSI) Director Michael Kennedy stated "Combined with these disastrous moves by NSW (and all state and territory governments except Queensland) to weaken environmental protections across the board, the Federal Coalition's planned abrogation of responsibilities is likely to set the evolution of environmental law in Australia back some 30 years. It is a situation from which our environment and life-giving ecological services may never recover, destroying the ecological sustainable future that all Australian's deserve. The NSW Coalition announcement today of such huge environmental roll-backs is bitter evidence of this fact.”