Election focus on biodiversity in Cooma

Opinion: Election focus on biodiversity in Cooma

Opinion
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Ahead of the NSW Farmers’ election forum on biodiversity management in Cooma, NSW Farmers is calling for all parties to declare their hand on biodiversity reforms.

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Ensuring a fair balance between the needs of the environment and agriculture is an essential component in delivering better outcomes for the environment, and a more productive agricultural sector. 

Ahead of the NSW Farmers’ election forum on biodiversity management in Cooma next week, NSW Farmers is calling for all parties to declare their hand on biodiversity reforms before the March 23 election.

NSW Farmers fought hard to secure new laws to manage biodiversity on our farmland.  While far from perfect, the new laws are delivering improved outcomes for the environment and agriculture. 

In their first 12 months in operation, more land was protected for active land management and biodiversity improvement than was cleared or rehabilitated for productive use. We are seeing better managed landscapes and improved biodiversity because we are better managing the way we interact with our landscape.

We cannot allow emotion to trump science and good policy. We need commitments to further reform of the biodiversity laws to continue to better balance the role of agriculture in our environment. 

Farmers are our greatest environmentalists and are best placed to formulate a responsible 10 point plan, for further reform of biodiversity laws that seeks to find a better balance between the needs of agriculture, biodiversity and the environment.

NSW Farmers welcomed commitments from Labor for $50 million to fight weeds and pests, and the bipartisan commitment of $37 million for the wild dog fence extension in NSW. 

We also need more focus on better balancing the red and green tape, which inhibits good environmental outcomes and farmers' ability to produce local food and fibre.

- Bronwyn Petrie, chair NSW Farmers Conservation and Resource Management Committee.

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