CONSERVATION groups rallied against the “wildlife cruelty” of the Coalition’s biodiversity conservation reforms in one last Sydney rally to change Premier Mike Baird’s mind.
NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley declared to the CBD crowd of 500 he would fight the reforms “tooth and nail”, citing potential loss of biodiversity and native species.
Sharing the stage with Mr Foley were several people who had for months opposed his efforts to repeal the Greyhound racing ban on animal cruelty grounds.
Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Animal Justice Party MP, and Nature Conservation Council chief Kate Smolski all shared fears that native habitats and biodiversity will be lost.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair lashed out at Mr Foley’s “anti-farmer” stance.
“If it wasn’t clear already, the attendance of the Opposition Leader at today’s anti-farmer rally in Sydney has made it abundantly obvious that Labor is going to continue its unscientific, ignorant and frankly offensive attack on our State’s farmers,” Mr Blair said.
“Our reforms will repeal Labor’s Native Vegetation Act once and for all, replacing it with modern, scientific and evidence-based laws that will create a fairer system which improves biodiversity in NSW.”
At the end of this week Coalition will have less than 10 sitting days left until the end of the Spring session of parliament – when it promised to bring its proposed reforms forward.
The Coalition signed a deal with NSW Farmers before the 2015 state election to repeal the current legislation and replace it with laws that allow farmers flexibility to manage their land.
If the NSW Liberals uphold their end of the bargain, only two Upper House seats – either the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers, or Christian Democrats, will be needed to pass the laws.