NSW begins the long road to native vegetation reform

The first steps on the long road to native vegetation reform have been taken today with the publication of the new Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 due to commence on 23 September.

The new regulations form part of a wider road map to native vegetation change and they precede the NSW Government’s full review of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 which begins in early 2014.

The new regulations allow for some new self assessable codes for certain vegetation management activities which are to be drafted and released in the coming months.

A NSW Farmers native vegetation taskforce has been working with key representatives from various government departments on drafting codes which are due out for public comment in the next month.

NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said: “It is pleasing to see government and our members working together on this issue. It is recognition that farmers are environmental caretakers of their land and should be listened to when it comes to this reform process. That is the only way that truly balanced and workable outcomes will be achieved and we hope that all their feedback will be incorporated.

“So far, a key issue the taskforce has noted is the requirement that activities that take place under a future ‘self assessable code’ be notified before those activities are undertaken. We are concerned about that and believe that it requires more discussion and debate.

“The review of the Native Vegetation Act 2003 next year presents a real opportunity to ensure that the pendulum swings back to a sensible and practical framework on native vegetation. A framework that delivers environmental outcomes as well as delivering social and economic outcomes to farmers.

“We’ve still got a long way to go but we are prepared to continue to work closely and comprehensively with the process that we have established with government in order to get the balance right,” she concluded.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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