Biodiversity reforms: Farmers call for natural justice
Native vegetation was a key focus on the first day of the NSW Farmers’ Annual Conference this year, with a number of motions coming forward on the biodiversity reforms that took effect in 2017.
NSW Farmers’ native vegetation working group chair, Mitchell Clapham noted a five-part motion from the Moree branch which seeks several amendments to the new native vegetation legislation.
“The changes mostly relate to extending the commonly accepted principles of natural justice to the compliance process set out in the legislation,” Mr Clapham said
“For example, the burden of proof should rest with the prosecutor as it does in criminal law. The Moree branch also called for landholders alleged to have committed a clearing offense to be afforded the right to remain silent and protections against self-incrimination.”
Moree branch delegates also suggested several changes to penalties to better reflect the size of the entity involved, the environmental impact and differentiate between corporate and family farms.
“The Tenterfield branch also sought to remove impractical, overreaching retention requirements for invasive native species and increase the threshold on which land management activities can be performed on sloped land.”
Äll these motions were passed. There was another motion passed from the Tenterfield branch that calls upon the Association to oppose the release of the NSW Government’s native vegetation regulatory maps unless accuracy is guaranteed.”
“There is still no publicly available timeline of when this mapping is set to be released, but a number of members involved in an early pilot found their maps to be quite inaccurate. The motion seeks to ensure that no mapping obtains regulatory force until it has been certified correct by the landholder.”
Date: Tuesday 24 July 2018
Media Contact: Michael Burt | 0428 228 988