Readers of earlier bulletins will be aware that WEPA has been working with the Stand Up for Nature coalition to raise our concerns about the proposed NSW Biodiversity Offsets scheme and its potential to make it easier for developers to remove the tree canopy in our suburbs. The WEPA submission on the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2017 draft Regulations and Codes concentrated on the impact of the proposed changes on urban trees and bushland. We also supported the submissions made by the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW and the Stand Up for Nature coalition dealing with state-wide and particularly rural impacts. Last month we joined with members of the Wilderness Society Sydney North branch to meet with the Premier, who is also our elected representative, to raise these issues face to face. The Premier was attentive during the meeting and noted in particular our concerns about the weakening of Tree Protection Orders under the new regulation.
We are all aware of the development and infrastructure push which is underway on the North Shore and Northern beaches in the name of housing Sydney-siders and ‘revitalizing’ our neighbourhoods. But is this approach what the community wants or needs and what is its impact on our environment? Those of us who drive through French’s Forest will not be surprised by the views residents expressed in this Daily Telegraph article. Both NSW Transport and Education Minister Robert Stokes have raised concerns in recent weeks over the juggernaut of development and how it will overstretch existing infrastructure. You might also be interested in the recent series about population and urban planning published in The Conversation.
This is a significant issue which will impact all of our lives on a daily basis. More voices need to be heard. Why not add your signature to the open letter to the Premier urging better protection of green spaces and trees from development – find out more here.