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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Port Botany oil spill latest in a litany of pollution breaches by Caltex refinery

The oil spill from the Caltex refinery at Port Botany yesterday is the latest of more than 140 breaches of the company’s pollution licence at the site since 2000, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Each year, the Caltex Kurnell Refinery releases more than 6 million kilograms of pollution into the air and water, including arsenic, benzene, carbon monoxide, cyclohexane, ethylbenzene, hydrogen sulphide, lead, mercury, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, sulphuric acid, toluene and xylenes.  

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Offsets policy compromised by pressure from mining industry

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has warned that the draft biodiversity offsets policy announced by the NSW Government will not provide adequate protection for threatened species and their habitat. [1]

“If offsets are to have any credibility, they must be governed by a consistent, predictable set of rules that deliver long term benefits for native wildlife and their habitat,” said Pepe Clarke, NCC Chief Executive Officer.

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