Koala SEPP - Lasting solution needed in 2021

After enduring a year of significant uncertainty regarding the NSW Government’s koala regulations, NSW Farmers says all stakeholders must come together in 2021 to find a lasting solution which protects koalas and allows for sustainable farming businesses.

In an after-the-buzzer announcement, the Premier and Deputy Premier have scrapped the new SEPP, reverted to the old SEPP, and agreed to sit down with farmers to develop a new policy to protect koalas and the interests of farmers – Something NSW Farmers has been requesting from the start.

We also have a written commitment that important Private Native Forestry reforms will be revisited early in the new year – another growing and sustainable primary industries sector that has been unreasonably slandered by cross-bench MLCs in our State’s Parliament.

NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson said after enduring the worst drought many rural families and communities have ever experienced, farmers were forced to defend their businesses from government intrusion through misguided State Environment Protection Policies.

“The Koala SEPP’s overreach into agricultural land has caused farmers and regional communities a great deal of hurt and insecurity this year, so this decision leaves many wondering what has all this been in aid of?

“This year has demonstrated that one ill-conceived and poorly drafted planning instrument can instantly strip away farmers’ property rights and destroy their business – this level of sovereign risk is not acceptable in a leading sub-national economy like NSW. 
“Farmers are the front line when it comes to environmental conservation. We stand ready to work to develop a solution to support farmers to take extra steps to look after koalas on their farms – we have consistently said that the NSW Biodiversity Conservation and Land Management framework provides a modern framework to deliver this outcome and we look forward to working with government and all stakeholders to deliver a first world solution early in the new year,” Mr Jackson said. 

Date: Friday, 20 November 2020
Media Contact:  Kathleen Curry  -  0429 011 690 | curryk@nswfarmers.org.au