However, changes to the state’s Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code 2018 announced in the recent Government Gazette, gave Local Land Service employees the right to allow landholders to clear land for farming or forestry.Chris Gambian, the new chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council, said the reversal ignored warnings by the state’s leading ecologists and gave “big agribusiness licence to clear it all by creating a loophole big enough to drive a bulldozer through”.
“Without these changes, significant uncertainty would be cast over the future viability of a number of farming and grazing operations in the region, many of which have been operating for more than 100 years,” he said.Matt Kean, the environment minister, also supported the code amendment saying it “protects the environment while allowing landholders flexibility to manage their land in cases where the vegetation does not form an ecological community that would be viable in the long term”.
“This sets a dangerous precedent by singling out a small but noisy constituency for special treatment,” he said.“These types of ecological communities have been reduced by about 95 per cent since European settlement in NSW but it seems it is never enough for the Nationals.” The scientific committee noted the grassy woodlands contained important assemblages of species such as snow gums and candlebark trees, and were also subjected to major weed infestations such as the sweet briar, or dog rose.
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