Greens Say That Private Land Clearing Shows Weak Environmental Protection

Almost 20 hectares of land has been cleared.


THE Coffs Harbour Greens are concerned about what appears to be extensive land clearing in Nana Glen.

Up to 20 hectares appears to have been cleared in the Bucca Bucca Creek catchment.

Greens spokesperson, Jonathan Cassell, was alerted to the clearing activities from a member of the community and is concerned by the failure of the current state government to protect intact ecosystems on private lands and support farmers to move towards sustainable practices.

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Mr Cassell said, “This clearing of land may in fact be legal since there are unfortunately now many ways to legally clear endangered communities and species habitats with unclear regulations.

“We cannot ignore that we have a problem with land clearing in NSW with the Local Land Services Act overriding threatened species protections for rural lands including the clearing for agriculture and forestry.”

The Department of Environment, Energy and Science reported that since 2017 there has been a 60% increase in land clearing in NSW as a result of the scrapping of vegetation laws.

“There is a worrying silence about land clearing on the Coffs Coast that threatens to impact our water catchments, biodiversity, tourism jobs and our community’s resilience to climate change,” Mr Cassell said.

“As we move to a zero-emissions world, farmers should be paid money in NSW to sequester CO2 and protect our water and air by retaining vegetation,” he said.

The Greens, and others, are concerned that not enough consideration is being given to the impacts of land clearing on the safety of our drinking water, food security and the recreational values intact ecosystems offer the entire community.

Mr Cassell said that for the long term benefit of farmers, local economies and wildlife, the government should take its lead from emerging carbon markets, particularly internationally.

“If we do not stop the widespread clearing of land in NSW, our Australian bush and the viability of farming will suffer irreparably and that would be as a direct result of current policies,” he said


By Andrew VIVIAN

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