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Premier O’Farrell must rule out logging in protected native forests

Conservationists have warned against moves to weaken environmental protections for NSW’s forests, in the wake of a controversial decision by the Queensland Government [1] to open more than a million hectares of protected forests to logging.

“This outrageous decision by the Newman Government has reversed two decades of conservation commitments, opening up a vast area of protected forest to the logging industry,” said Pepe Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

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Game Council review is welcome, now abandon hunting in parks

Conservation groups have welcomed reports Premier Barry O’Farrell has ordered a review of the NSW Game Council and delayed the introduction of hunting in national parks.

Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said there were serious questions about administration of the Game Council and its undue level of influence on government policy.

“The conservation movement is pleased Premier O’Farrell has acknowledged community concerns about the Game Council’s operations,” Mr Clarke said.

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Cuts to water saving programs shortsighted

With the second highest water consumption per household in Australia, Sydney can ill afford to abandon investment in water efficiency programs, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Sydney Water’s spending on efficiency programs has reportedly fallen from $30.5 million five years ago to $1.5 million last financial year.

“These dramatic cuts in water efficiency programs are shortsighted,” said Pepe Clarke, NCC Chief Executive Officer.

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Water, wildlife and public health remain at risk from mining and gas expansion

Today's announcement by the NSW Government that new CSG activities will be prohibited within two kilometres of residential areas and sensitive rural industries is an important step in the right direction, but leaves many pressing issues unresolved.

“For residents concerned about CSG development in urban areas, the announcement represents a victory for common sense and local community action,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said.

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$30 billion dam plan is costly, ill-conceived and environmentally irresponsible

The Opposition's draft proposal to build up to 100 new dams across Australia is grandiose and ill-conceived, and should be rejected by the Opposition Leader, according to the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales.

“Implementing this policy would be extremely expensive, unnecessary and environmentally destructive,” NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said.

“With a total cost of up to $30 billion, Australians should be asking whether this fiscally irresponsible plan is in the national interest.

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BHP mine approval breaks Premier's promise, threatens Sydney's water supply

The NSW Government has breached a key pre-election promise and placed Sydney's water supply at risk by approving a damaging mine expansion proposal only a few hundred metres from the Avon water supply dam.

The Department of Planning yesterday approved an expansion of the Dendrobium mine, a long-wall coal mine located entirely within Sydney's drinking water catchment.

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Federal approval opens the way for destruction of Leard State Forest

The state’s peak environment organization, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, has condemned Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s decision to approve the Maules Creek and Boggabri coal mines.

"These decisions represent a disgraceful failure of government policy on mining and gas development,” NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said.

"These mines will carve the heart out of Leard Forest, destroying almost 3,500 hectares of woodland in the Brigalow Belt South Bioregion, a nationally-listed biodiversity hotspot.

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AGL Camden CSG decision is a temporary reprieve for residents

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has welcomed AGL’s announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning that it has suspended its application to expand its coal seam gas fields into residential areas of south-west Sydney.

“This will be welcome news for local residents but it is important to recognize that this is only a temporary reprieve,” NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said.

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AGL’s Camden gas expansion proposal must be rejected

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is standing shoulder to shoulder with the communities of south-west Sydney by formally opposing AGL’s proposal to expand coal seam gas fields into residential areas.

The NCC argues in its submission to the Department of Planning that AGL’s Camden Gas Project Stage 3 proposal should be rejected because of the serious threats it poses to human health and the region’s water resources.

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Feds must intervene to protect water, wildlife and local communities

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW today backed calls by independent MP Tony Windsor for stronger national regulation of mining and gas projects to minimise the industry’s impacts on communities and water resources.

NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said the NSW Government’s failure to effectively regulate the impacts of the mining and gas industries on communities and water resources made greater federal involvement essential.

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