Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Promise delivered on protecting Liverpool Plains land: NSW Govt

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Paul Toole, NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Minister for Police, Dugald Saunders, NSW Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Western NSW, Joint Media Release, 21 January 2022

Questions from Australian Rural & Regional News to the Deputy Premier and Minister are below the government statement.

More than 6,000 hectares of high biodiversity land on the Liverpool Plains will be protected for good by the NSW Government, as part of the finalisation of a $100 million agreement with Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Limited (Shenhua).

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the government’s acquisition of the parcels of land delivers on a commitment to protect those areas, enhance native biodiversity, and help preserve key koala habitat.

Liverpool Plains maps

“This is the beginning of a new era for farmers and the wider community on the Liverpool Plains, ending years of uncertainty,” Mr Toole said.

“From today, this land will be actively managed by the Local Land Services on behalf of the government to safeguard the areas with environmental and cultural significance.” 

The land acquired from Shenhua includes sites at Breeza, Barraba, Mt Watermark and Tambar Springs.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the NSW Government is committed to not only protecting the landscape and its threatened species, but also ensuring neighbouring agricultural operations continue to thrive.

“The Liverpool Plains is home to not only some of the best agricultural land in the country but some of the most beautiful country as well,” Mr Saunders said.

“This is a major boost to the protection and conservation of more than 6000 hectares of high biodiversity land and will be done in consultation with the region’s Indigenous groups, environmental groups, local councils and other stakeholders.

“By working together, we can ensure the best environmental, cultural and production outcomes are achieved across the Liverpool Plains.”

For more information about the project visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au.

Questions

Australian Rural & Regional News has asked the following questions of the Deputy Premier and Minister and will provide the responses here when received.

Mention is made of ‘a new era for farmers’, however farmers are not mentioned in regard to the consultation process: “This is a major boost to the protection and conservation of more than 6000 hectares of high biodiversity land and will be done in consultation with the region’s Indigenous groups, environmental groups, local councils and other stakeholders.”

1. What does the ‘new era for farmers’ involve?

2. If farmers were not included in the consultation process, why not?

3. If farmers were involved in the consultation process, at what point were they involved, how, and why is their participation in that consultation process not mentioned?

“The land acquired from Shenhua includes sites at Breeza, Barraba, Mt Watermark and Tambar Springs.”

4. On what basis were these sites selected?

“From today, this land will be actively managed by the Local Land Services on behalf of the government to safeguard the areas with environmental and cultural significance.”

5. What is meant by the term ‘actively manage’? What does this entail?

Local Land Services has very limited resources and is not usually engaged in wide scale land management, indeed, there are many complaints from farmers about the inability of LLS to manage the land for which it is already responsible and the unwillingness in recent years of LLS officers to be actively engaged in assisting farmers to manage pests and weeds.

6. Is the NSW Government intending to properly resource LLS to enable this ‘active management’ to occur?

7. How will the NSW Government ensure that proper land management standards will be achieved and maintained?

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