Land clearing in NSW soars

After a major court battle to get hold of the figures, The Guardian reports clearing of native vegetation in NSW has jumped 800% in three years.

In 2013-14, 900 hectares was cleared in total. In 2014-15 this jumped to 2,730 hectares and by 2015-16 it had increased to 7,390 hectares.

The Berejiklian government replaced the Native Vegetation Act, with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2017 – which allows farms and landholders to self-assess whether they need to make a formal application to clear land using satellite maps.

Other data released suggests that more than $1bn of public money being spent on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees and restoring habitat under the Coalition’s Direct Action climate policy will have effectively been wiped out by little more than two years of forest-clearing elsewhere in the country.

Sonja Duncan