Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Lack of consultation on new Koala SEPP a concern for farmers

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NSW Farmers Association, Media Release, 9 March 2021

NSW Farmers is concerned by a lack of consultation with landholders around new koala regulations and what they will mean for farmers.

NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson said it was disappointing the agreement made with the Premier last year to protect koalas and farms had been torn up.

“NSW Farmers brought to the government’s attention the extensive problems with Koala SEPP 2019, a regulation that was meant to be originally designed to protect koalas from urban development but had serious consequences for farm productivity,” Mr Jackson said.

“Fortunately the government realised changes needed to be made, however, while it is pleasing that areas of the state will be excluded from the urban based new SEPP, farmers across other regions will still be subject to Koala SEPP 2021 and their farm operations will be greatly impacted. Real farmers need to be excluded from this urban SEPP.”

“The Deputy Premier has said the new SEPP cuts red tape for farmers but we have no concrete evidence that this is the case because farmers have not been consulted on the changes.”

“We’re calling on the government, in particular the Premier to ensure the new regulations won’t negatively impact farm businesses.”

“It doesn’t make sense not to consult with farmers. We’re at the forefront of koala conservation and testament to that is the fact koalas on private land are thriving compared to those on public land that are under threat from their management policies.”

“The proposed changes to the balanced land management codes is very concerning, and ignores the reality that koalas survived the catastrophic fires last year did so on private land due to the responsible actions of farmers,” Mr Jackson said.

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