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Industry expert exposes government fear mongering on gas supplies

The NSW Government’s claims of a looming gas shortage has been exposed as a gross exaggeration by the chief executive of a leading gas distribution company whose comments were published in today’s Australian newspaper.

The Australian article reports:

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Government poised to revoke marine sanctuaries, placing marine life at risk

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has renewed its call for the NSW Government to end an amnesty on illegal fishing in marine sanctuaries, comparing fishing in sanctuaries to hunting in national parks.  

The amnesty came into effect last year when the Minister for Primary Industries instructed fisheries officers not to enforce laws that prohibit recreational fishing in marine sanctuaries next to the shore.

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Warkworth mine expansion is a breach of faith

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) appeared before the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) today in Singleton to oppose the proposed expansion of the Warkworth open-cut coal mine near the Upper Hunter village of Bulga.

Rio Tinto proposes to expand its existing mining operations 350 metres towards the village, mining through an area set aside in 2003 as a biodiversity offset area.

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Funding cuts undermine community rights and environmental protection

The federal government’s decision to end funding for the Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO) network without notice will reduce the community’s ability to obtain timely, affordable assistance with public interest environmental law matters, according to the Nature Conservation Council.  [1]

“For nearly 30 years, the EDO has provided essential access to expert advice on environmental law, assisting local communities to protect their local environment and way of life,” said NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke.

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Documentary highlights campaign to save The Drip

The battle to save The Drip on the Goulburn River near Mudgee is one of six campaigns featured in a new documentary that highlights the devastating impact that coal mines and coal seam gas projects are having on local communities and iconic landscapes across NSW.

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Government appeases powerful mining interests over Maules Creek

In a move that appears designed to appease powerful mining interests, the federal Labor and Liberal parties have weakened national threatened species protections.

The Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (Fed) that was passed by the House of Representatives last night will, if passed by the Senate, empower the Federal Environment Minister to disregard expert advice on threatened species impacts when assessing development applications for major projects such as coal mines and gas fields.

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Conflict of interest compromises management of Sydney’s drinking water

A company with business links to a major polluter in Sydney’s water catchment has been appointed to develop a strategic plan of management for the catchment’s most sensitive environmental areas, the Schedule 1 Special Areas.

These areas act as the final protective barrier for the storage reservoirs that supply drinking water to Greater Sydney and the Illawarra, a resource for more than 4.5 million people.

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Struggle for a fair and balanced planning system continues

Despite substantial amendments made in the NSW Parliament’s Upper House, the Planning Bill remains a deeply flawed piece of legislation that puts communities and the environment at risk, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.   

“These proposed laws are unfair and unbalanced because they put the interests of developers before the needs of the broader community and the protection of the natural environment,” NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said.

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Divisive planning laws create conflict in parliament and the community

The NSW Government’s proposed new planning laws have created unnecessary conflict by placing the interests of developers and the mining industry before the interests of the broader community, according to the state’s peak environment organisation.

The Planning Bill 2013 and Planning Administration Bill 2013 were debated in the NSW Legislation Council last night. The debate ran into the night and will continue today.

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Report showcases unique NSW marine life threatened by looming decision

A new report released today documents the unique and endangered marine life that is at risk from a NSW Government decision to wind back important protections along the state’s coast.

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