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Merger must strengthen environmental protections and community involvement

The merger of the NSW departments of environment and planning presents an opportunity to put the environment and local communities at the heart of state’s planning system, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.  

“While there is a serious risk that the interests of the environment and local communities will be further subordinated to those of the powerful development and mining lobbies, this need not be the case,” NCC Campaigns Director Kate Smolski said.

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Environment movement is ready to work with new ministers

The Nature Conservation Council has welcomed the appointment of Environment Minister Rob Stokes and Planning Minister Pru Goward as an opportunity for the government to enhance environmental protection and give people a greater say in development decisions before it goes to the polls in March 2015.

NCC Campaigns Director Kate Smolski said the Coalition Government’s performance in the planning and environment portfolios during its first three years in office had been very disappointing.

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New Nattai wilderness improves protection for Sydney’s water supply

The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) have welcomed the declaration of 11,000 hectares of wilderness in Nattai National Park.

Located near Picton, less than three hours drive from downtown Sydney, Nattai National Park is one of the most accessible wilderness areas in New South Wales, providing opportunities for low impact recreation and a safe haven for native wildlife.

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Highly protected wildlife sanctuaries an important tool in the race to save species

The Nature Conservation Council has welcomed an announcement by the NSW Government that up to 12,000 hectares of existing national parks will be set aside as highly protected wildlife sanctuaries, aimed at bringing threatened species back from the brink of extinction. [1]

The three highly protected wildlife sanctuaries will be surrounded by high fences and actively managed to remove feral animals and promote the recovery of iconic threatened species.

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Supreme Court ruling is undermined by O’Farrell Government’s Mining SEPP

The NSW Government has colluded with big coal to ensure today’s court victory by the residents of Bulga over mining giant Rio Tinto is short-lived.

NCC Campaigns Director Kate Smolski said the government’s pernicious Mining State Environmental Planning Policy had undermined today’s ruling by the Court of Appeal by making it significantly more difficult for communities to stop damaging coal and gas proposals on environmental and social grounds.

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Coalpac proposal to mine in the Gardens of Stone is back from the dead

Environment groups are outraged that a company under administration has lodged an application to restart and expand a coal mine in the Gardens of Stone near Lithgow that is very similar to a project that has been rejected already by state planning bodies.

Today Coalpac Pty Ltd has placed on public exhibition a development application under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to mine 315 hectares of the Ben Bullen State Forest, next to the township of Cullen Bullen.  

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Planning body should reject damaging Wallarah 2 coal mine expansion

The Nature Conservation Council has renewed calls for the Wallarah 2 longwall coal mine expansion proposal to be rejected because of unacceptable impacts the project would have on the Central Coast’s drinking water supply and the harm it would cause to local wildlife.

NCC Campaigns Director Kate Smolski will give evidence today in Wyong at a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) hearing into the proposal.

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Sugarloaf debacle highlights the unacceptable risks of longwall mining

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today the Sugarloaf mine subsidence and remediation debacle demonstrated the need for the O’Farrell Government to protect sensitive environmental areas from coal and gas development.

It also raises serious concerns about the government’s close relationship to major resource companies.

“The company and the government attempted for months after the subsidence originally occurred in October 2012 to keep this shameful event hidden from the public,” NCC Campaigns Director Kate Smolski said.

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Woodlands and wildlife at risk under draft land clearing codes

The NSW Government’s  draft codes for self-assessable land clearing would place large areas of native vegetation at increased risk, allow the destruction of habitat vital for threatened birds, gliders and bats, and present significant legal risks for farmers.

The draft codes under the Native Vegetation Act cover “invasive native species”, thinning and isolated paddock trees and would allow farmers to clear certain types of native vegetation without prior assessment or approval by the Local Land Service.

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CEO Pepe Clarke announces plans to step down

Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Pepe Clarke, has announced he will step down from the role later this year.

“It has been an honour to serve the Nature Conservation Council over the past four years,” Mr Clarke said.

“For nearly 60 years, the Nature Conservation Council has been a strong voice for nature in New South Wales, leading statewide efforts to protect our forests, oceans and wildlife.

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© 2012 Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales Australia Inc. Except where otherwise explicitly authorised, any material on this website which may be construed as electoral material or an electoral matter under any State or Commonwealth Law is authorised by Pepe Clarke, on behalf of the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales Australia Inc.  Level 2, 5 Wilson Street, Newtown NSW 2042 Tel +61 2 9516 1488 Fax +61 2 8026 8301. Privacy

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