The government digresses

The government digresses


Opinion
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NSW Farmers says: We have raised our concerns with the native vegetation codes with government and will continue to press for meaningful reform.

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In November 2016 the NSW government’s biodiversity reform bills were passed by the NSW Parliament.

After years of lobbying for land management reform, NSW Farmers welcomed the repeal of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 as an important step towards a fairer and more manageable framework that would deliver balanced social, economic and environmental outcomes for the farming community.

After months of consultation with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), including several meetings with the NSW Farmers’ native vegetation working group, the DPI recently provided a briefing to the NSW Farmers native vegetation working group regarding the codes of practice governing native vegetation management.

The codes were initially circulated for public consultation mid last year and suggested movement towards a legislative system supportive of more productive farming methods and systems, while responding to environmental risks.

Changes have been made to the publicly exhibited code, which in several aspects give cause for significant concern and digress from the intent of various recommendations contained in the Independent Review Panel’s report.

We have raised our concerns with government and will continue to press for meaningful reform in coming months, as the codes and regulation supporting the new legislation are passed.

We intend to take full advantage of this opportunity for reform of land management and will push for change to the extent originally expressed and encompassed in the independent panel’s recommendations.

We encourage all farmers to actively engage in the process, particularly coming public workshops in May and June.

NSW Farmers is committed to consult with government regarding all aspects of the proposed new system and will continue to advocate for equitable land management.

- NSW Farmers’ conservation and resource management committee chairman Mitchell Clapham

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