National Threatened Species Day - NSW Labor launches campaign against the Baird Government’s proposed land clearing laws

In Parliament | 07.09.16

With over 1,000 threatened species of plants and animals in NSW, Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe has used National Threatened Species Day* to launch a postcard petition and social media campaign against the Baird Government’s proposed changes to land clearing laws.

The campaign calls on the NSW Government to abandon the draft Biodiversity Conservation Bill and consists of four different postcards that will be distributed across NSW.

The campaign will also be run on social media using the hashtag #chainsawmike.

The proposed changes to land clearing laws have been criticised by scientists, environmentalists and farmers with fears that a return to broadscale land clearing will drive up extinctions.

The proposed laws seek to tear up the current Native Vegetation Act that was introduced in 2003. The Act has reduced land clearing from more than 100,000 hectares of land a year—the equivalent of half of Sydney's urban area— to less than 12,000 hectares per year.

The current laws have delivered a 20 per cent reduction in clearing of remnant bushland, saved 53,000 native mammals from death each year and saved approximately 300 koalas from a human caused death.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe MLC

“There are now more than 1,000 types of plants and animals facing extinction in New South Wales. The most important action that can be taken to stop this wave of extinctions is to protect the trees and native vegetation from being cleared.

“The current plans by the Baird Government will make land clearing worse and threaten more species with extinction than ever before.

“The Baird Government is emboldened by their numbers in the Parliament and are determined to push this legislation through. This campaign is about standing up to chainsaw Mike Baird and calling for a real commitment to protect threatened plants and native animals.”


*Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year on 7 September to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger (also known as the thylacine) at Hobart Zoo in 1936.