A description of two NSW state-wide vegetation maps and comments on their relevance to biodiversity assessment
Dr John Benson, Ecologist and member of National Parks Association of NSW
The recent comment on biodiversity decline in New South Wales canvassed that unreliable vegetation mapping could compound deficiencies in recently enacted biodiversity regulations. After the change of government in New South Wales in 2011, it appears a decision was made for NSW to adopt maps in biodiversity regulations replacing previous on-ground site assessment and property planning. This transition to maps raises challenges because unlike a google street map, vegetation maps contain errors leading to significant uncertainty in site-based land-use decisions.
Dr John Benson
This article was published online on 19 September 2017 in the blog Pearls and Irritations
The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) was the first of its type in Australia. Established by a Liberal government, its lyrebird emblem became world-renowned. But the Service is not valued by the present Government and now faces grave uncertainty.
Catherine Merchant, member of National Parks Association of NSW
The controlled movement of stock across Australia via a “veritable maze” of public stock routes is a uniquely Australian phenomenon. This “maze” is particularly evident in NSW where some droving continues. What remains of the Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves network (TSR network) in NSW is a valuable public asset that must be preserved. Its enduring protection has been an important aspect of NPA’s 60 years of conservation advocacy work.
John Turnbull, Past President, National Parks Association of NSW
Anne Dickson, Sustainability facilitator and consultant and sessional lecturer in sustainability
As I sat on the rocky ledge just south of Jibbon Head in the Royal National Park, I couldn’t find the words. In front of me – a pod of dolphins, migrating humpback whales, and just to my right, an Australian fur seal feeding in the shallows. Behind me – an echidna, black cockatoos, finches and early spring wildflowers. And the value of all this? Nothing short of priceless.
In today’s society, we seem to need to put a price tag on everything. Of course, some things can be valued in monetary terms – anything which has a market, which is bought and sold. Even then, the price paid may not be a true reflection of the value or cost – hence the need for carbon pricing, for example.
The Baird government’s biodiversity law reform agenda has suffered a major setback today with the state’s peak conservation groups withdrawing from top-level stakeholder consultations with the Office of Environment and Heritage, who are drafting the new laws.
The groups are now seeking direct talks with the Ministers for Environment, Planning and Primary Industries.