The primary objections of Professor Possingham are that the government is proposing self-assessable codes that will result in broad-scale land clearing, thus degrading soil, water and biodiversity, and that the ‘no net loss’ standard against which clearing should be measured has not made the draft legislation.
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Mike Baird, under heavy political fire as a result of reversing the broadly popular greyhound ban, will further appease his minor Coalition partners by allowing a potential 2.2 million hectares of koala habitat to be bulldozed across NSW under his planned land clearing laws, according to a report by WWF-Australia.
In the shocking new report WWF estimates that, all up, over 8 million hectares of bushland across NSW—10% of the entire state—could be lost to Baird’s bulldozers if the new laws are passed.
Large numbers of the Wild Horse, a farm-animal escapee, are severely impacting the water catchment wetlands of the Australian Alps, including right across Kosciuszko National Park. In 2014, 35% of the Alps wetlands had been damaged. These high mountain wetlands are the very heart of the headwater catchment sources for our mightiest rivers, the Murray, Murrumbidgee and the Snowy and regrettably they are also a preferred grazing area for these heavy stock animals. Numbers of Wild Horses have grown from about 2000 to more than 6000 in just 11 years and they are causing great damage to the catchments. The NSW Government, in response to these threats has launched, in May 2016, a draft Wild Horse Management Plan for consultation … a plan, amongst other things, to protect the water catchments.
New figures released today by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) shows the expansion of the National Park estate has almost ground to a halt since the Coalition came to power in 2011.
According to the NSW Report on Native Vegetation 2013-141 the average annual rate of National Park additions under the Coalition to 2013-14 is just 9,753ha—a 95% reduction on the previous six-year average of 173,965ha.2
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