Monday, 17 October 2016

NEW SOUTH WALES BIODIVERSITY LAW CHANGES 2016

Here's some interesting information regarding the subject heading. From a friend of mine who is very concerned about this, as we all should be.

Imminent Changes to Biodiversity Laws in NSW
"I strongly urge the NSW Government to refrain from introducing any changes to the NSW 2003 Biodiversity Act.
The replacement of the NSW 2003 Biodiversity Act with the Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2016 will remove the effective laws which protect the remaining biodiversity in this state and introduce a legal framework for exceedingly detrimental degradation to occur. The new legislation has little regard for conservation and replaces key legislation with deliberately weakened laws enabling rafts of compromise.
Biodiversity has taken millions of years to develop yet the State Government is introducing laws to eradicate as much of it as possible. Pristine areas will be savaged as quickly as the time required for a bulldozer to ram a path through native vegetation thereby opening tree canopies, crushing the understorey and bringing weeds and the seeds of weeds on the rotating caterpillar tracks.
The concerns with the new legislation are many.
There are three major flaws in the current draft legislation.
  1. The codes allow broad scale clearing.
  2. The lack of mapping for areas of high biodiversity mapping where clearing is not allowed.
  3. The design of a $240 million fund for private land conservation requiring NSW taxpayers to compensate additional land clearing resulting from weakened existing clearing controls.
The new legislation fails to recognize or act upon the cumulative acts of land clearing and habitat degradation.
“Vulnerable ecological communities” are excluded from the definition of threatened species. This need to be rectified.
A key recommendation of Review Panel have been ignored. The Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel had recommended that land clearing involving a change of use should be assessed under planning laws. The draft legislation has ignored this recommendation and has given the responsibility for approving land clearing to Local Land Services which do not have the resources and expertise to carry out this function.
The new legislation introduces ‘Offsets’ which would allow rehabilitation or revegetation to be utilized as ‘set aside areas’ even though such vegetation would be ecologically inferior to or entirely different from the vegetation being cleared and may take decades to improve in quality. This therefore enhances overall land degradation, the loss of natural biodiversity and adds to the loss of threatened species and habitat.
The new legislation has offsets and then allows offsets on offsets as well as ministerial discretion to discount offsets. It goes further down the path of degradation as it allows developers to bypass offsets by simply making donations to a central fund if they have no offset or by rehabilitating mine sites, an action that should be the responsibility of the mining company. It even allows mining in areas hitherto regarded as unique, pristine and of outstanding biodiversity value. This is totally unacceptable. 
Even the role of the Environment Minister is to be diminished since under the new legislation’s regime the Minister for Primary Industries will deal with land clearing applications. As well, the Minister for Primary Industries will have significant discretion in applying the new laws. This is not good practice.
The draft legislation even goes so far as to specifically allow for the clearance of paddock trees. Advertising by NSW Farmers erroneously cites such trees as reservoirs for pest and weeds. In fact there is no evidence to support this. Yet the new legislation increases the number of codes under which these trees can be removed to five. 
Paddock trees are of great importance. They are indeed the remnants of the great forest cover of NSW. They provide shade for stock and pollen for bees. They provide lodgings and perches for birds. They provide roosts for owls and accommodation for bats and insects. Native species such as possums, sugar gliders and koalas also need them. Key threatened bird species such as the endangered Red Tailed Black Cockatoos. Even dead paddock trees are very important for nest sites. All the above mentioned immediately recognisable lifeforms are important parts of an ecosystem. 
Farmers reap significant rewards from paddock trees as they are important for soil conservation as their roots help to anchor the soil. They also have a positive influence on soil properties such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous levels. They provide a microclimate and shade for stock (Local Land Services 2014).

Friday, 14 October 2016

STRANGER DANGER!!!





Seems you can't even take photos of a building site in Australia without being accosted and assaulted  by someone!

Here I am taking photos of a site which housed a 60 year old beautiful brick home that has now been divided into 2 blocks of 10m 67cms wide(!!) so cluster housing of a duplex can be built in this designated proven high bushfire zone!

God Bless, Wollongong City Council for allowing the destruction of a historic suburb.

Objectors said this duplex was not suited to the suburb but the Gong Council said it was the type of streetscape they wanted!!

Which means, all the other time capsule houses of the Tops, the only suburb on top of the Illawarra Escarpment, are in danger of changing into the Cluster Duplex MacMansion Suburb, and as i said in a proven HIGH BUSHFIRE ZONE!!!

Anyway here I am recording my progress shots when this turkey pulls up and approaches me without identifying himself and proceeded to question me about photographing this property (must be some sort of secret project though adjacent neighbours can look right down on it and his safety liner was blown off the safety fence anyway). I just gave him my Dirty Harry look and walked away and he followed me (maybe he likes men?)

I didn't get far because there was a ribbon barrier but he kept'a coming. He got so close I put out my hand to stop him which he did. The as I walked up the Council embankment, he tried to grab my camera and hit my arm. Whereupon I informed him he just assaulted me but kept following me.

I took a couple of pics as he was getting really close, then I saw a woman get out of the car so I took a photo of her taking a photo of me.

The bloke said you took a picture of my wife, but I said she's taking a picture of me!!! I moved away more and then I said we can get the police, several times and that's when he went back to the car and drove off.

A lot of being accosted by strangers is going on around the world now.

YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE OR WHAT THEIR INTENTIONS ARE!!

Fortunately for me the CCTV cams were on a continuous roll to back up my story.

Later it occurred to me that I didn't even think to turn the video function on of the camera I was holding... bummer, it would have made a real nice video.....

I guess the lesson to learned here is, DON'T SHIT FROM ANYONE AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CAMERA WITH YOU TO DOCUMENT THE PROCEEDINGS!!!