NSW Farmers welcomes step forward in EPBC Act reform

NSW Farmers welcomes the release of the Statutory Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 by Professor Graeme Samual AC.

NSW Farmers' President James Jackson said the review is an important step in continuing a conversation with the States on developing the way our environmental assets are managed under the umbrella of state legislation.

Mr Jackson said the report reinforces the key aim of creating a system for environmental management that is one touch and can be effectively administered by the states. 

“It is then vital that in moving forward with the report’s recommendations that the standards set and agreed by all states are workable and constructive within the frameworks that govern environmental controls in each state,” Mr Jackson said. 

“The NSW Government has already worked effectively with the Commonwealth in developing standards for matters of National Environmental Significance, and that their management and implementation is done in a practical way that ensures the continued productivity of the valuable farming sector.”

Mr Jackson said recognition of the skills and knowledge of land owners in the balance of productivity and environmental protection is essential.

“After years of ineffective implementation of the EPBC Act, and a lack of consultation and partnership with land owners, this is the opportunity to build a reform that can both protect our valuable and unique biodiversity as well as productive land. This outcome will rely on effective consultation with land owners, access to private land and a willingness to harness the knowledge of land owners.”

“Reforms will only be effective if the settings of standards are achievable in retaining the important rights of land owners to produce local food and fibre,” Mr Jackson said.

Date: Friday, 29 January 2021
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au