STEP Matters 182
Last year the NSW Government’s planning legislation was rejected because communities were going to be left out of significant parts of the decision making process. This last week the government announced the structure of the Greater Sydney Commission that could be just as bad.
The Environmental Impact Statement on Hornsby Quarry was released in August with a closing date for submissions of 4 September 2015. STEP and the Geological Heritage Subcommittee of the NSW Division of the Geological Society of Australia have some concerns.
The report on the review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice was released in August. The NSW Government is implementing all 30 recommendations of the review. However the fundamental problem with the legislation remains. Residents of urban areas that are defined as bushfire prone land can chop down trees within 10 m of their house or attached structure without obtaining expert advice on whether this will reduce bushfire risk. This is the reason over 95% of the 3579 submissions received called for repeal of the legislation.
The issue of waste and litter from single use plastic bags handed out by supermarkets and other stores has been discussed for many years. For example a detailed research paper was produced by the NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service back in May 2004. This paper recommended that these plastic bags be phased out within five years.
The impact on marine life from plastic may be most obvious in coastal regions, but in August CSIRO released the results of the first analysis of the threat posed by plastic pollution to pelagic bird species worldwide. The report is published by the National Academy of Sciences of the US.
The Australian Government is reviewing the tax deductibility status of donations to environment organisations and is in the process of handing over to the states most powers for decision making in matters of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
This article has been written by Frances O’Brien, Group Administrator at Wahroonga Waterways Landcare. The site is part of SAN Wahroonga Estate redevelopment that was approved in 2010 after three years of consultation.