Common sense prevails for koalas and farmers

 
NSW Farmers welcomes the passage of amendments to the Local Land Services Act by the NSW Legislative Assembly today. 

The amendments seek to decouple the Koala SEPP from the Private Native Forestry and the Land Management Framework within the Act.

Bronwyn Petrie, Chair of the NSW Farmers Conservation and Resource Management Committee, said the amendments recognise the balance that needs to be struck between koala conservation and farmers’ property rights. 

“Protection of the iconic native species is important to farmers, and farmers have always adopted effective conservation strategies on their farms,” Ms Petrie said.

“The Koala SEPP that came into effect in March this year not only undermines these voluntary efforts, but it has the effect of over-regulating farmers while not achieving the desired environmental outcomes.”

“The changes passed today mean landholders will not be overburdened by red tape and planning laws that inhibit the active land management for production and environmental uses on their land.”

Ms Petrie said the amendments will also build certainty for farmers in running their businesses. 

“Like any business operation, farming demands protection of assets and planning for the future. The changes to the SEPP’s application can restore confidence in farmers following a period of uncertainty,” Ms Petrie said.

“The benefits of these changes will also extend to private native forestry. Following extensive fire damage to public lands over the last 12 months, it is more important than ever that this industry can continue to support employment and supply in the timber industry.”

“The changes approved today will remove outdated rules that actually inhibit sound forest management, giving land owners, contractors and mills the certainty to manage forests productively while also achieving positive environmental outcomes.”

“NSW Farmers strongly backs these changes to ensure the Koala SEPP is utilised to support the continued protection of koalas in the appropriate areas, while not placing further unnecessary restrictions on private land, and looks forward to the support of the Legislative Council to pass this important Bill,” Ms Petrie concluded.

Date: Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au