General News



A parliamentary committee inquiring into the contentious Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020 is seeking input from stakeholders and the community. The bill was referred by the NSW Legislative Council on 19 November. The Chair of the Committee, Ms Cate Faehrmann MLC said: ‘The bill went far beyond the issues raised by the 2019 Koala SEPP and would have effectively gutted many environmental protections on rural lands. The committee feels it is important to examine the process that led to the bill’s creation and the issues that it was supposedly attempting to resolve.’ The Chair continued: ‘As the bill will likely not proceed following this inquiry, the committee will be examining key aspects of the legislation in order to investigate ways to bring competing interests together to effectively protect koalas and their habitat. What is being said loud and clear from all sides is that no one wants to see the koala becoming extinct before 2050.’ ‘The same committee members who worked tirelessly to produce the 42 recommendations from last year’s Inquiry into Koala Populations and their Habitat will be examining this issue.’ ‘In particular, the committee is interested to find out the community’s views on the operation and effectiveness of the 1994 and 2019 Koala SEPPs in protecting koalas and their habitat as well as local government’s ability to manage koala populations and koala plans of management.’ ‘In addition, the committee is interested in learning about current and potential incentives and challenges facing rural landholders who seek to protect koalas on their land and the impacts of current regulatory regimes on private landholders. The committee will also consider the mechanisms by which biodiversity values are assessed on private land when land use changes.’, said Ms Faehrmann. The Chair concluded: ‘All interested parties are encouraged to share their views with the committee by completing the inquiry’s online questionnaire.’ Please click here to access the online questionnaire, open until Friday 5 February 2021. Alternatively, organisations or those with specialist knowledge in the field who would like to make a more detailed submission, can contact the secretariat before Friday 5 February 2021. For information about the inquiry, including committee membership and the terms of reference, and contact information, please visit the committee’s website.