NSW Farmers rejects native veg codes

NSW Farmers has rejected the NSW Government’s claim that the new native vegetation self assessable codes released today would deliver anything substantial and meaningful for the state’s farmers.

The codes were the next step in the NSW Government’s reform of native vegetation management.

NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said although there may be some instances where the codes will help, most farmers will find them frustrating, unworkable and difficult to understand.

“These codes just simply cannot work given the Native Vegetation Act is a completely broken piece of legislation,” she said.

“It is clear to us that the Coalition Government came to power without a plan on native vegetation reform despite all its promises to sort the issue out.

“Despite being involved in the consultation on the codes, we are bitterly disappointed that our feedback has been ignored.”

NSW Farmers’ native vegetation spokesperson and farmer from Walgett, Cameron Rowntree, is equally unimpressed.

“Thinning out native vegetation to reduce dominant species and remove invasive species should simply be allowed and not regulated in a code. Once again - the government has overcomplicated it,” he said.
“Farmers are being treated like mugs in their management of native vegetation. This needs to stop. Our productivity is being absolutely crushed as a result of these impractical rules.”

Both Mr Rowntree and Ms Simson agree that urgent action needs to be taken to address the failings of the Native Vegetation Act.

Ms Simson said: “The review of the Act could take years and our members are sick of waiting. It hasn’t even started yet. We wrote to the Deputy Premier in early February to urge him to consider targeted amendments to the Act while the review is undertaken and we are still awaiting his response.”

“We are offering a solution and a way forward and we urge government to get on board, make it happen and stop strangling farmers with these nonsense rules. Every day that passes is costing the state dearly in terms of lost productivity.”

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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