Last time we posted we noted that a number of bills had lapsed at prorogation and that they may recommence next session of parliament upon a resolution to recommence. The resolution came early which allowed for the passing of the Water Amendment (Review Implementation and Other Measures) Bill 2015 and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Bill 2016. The Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2015 is before the Senate.
New South Wales
The NSW Government has released draft legislation that will make the process of clearing native vegetation easier. The proposed legislation are the Biodiversity Conservation Bill and the Local Land Services Amendment Bill which would replace the Native Vegetation Act, the Threatened Species Conservation Act and the Nature Conservation Trust Act. Farming groups have come out in favour of the changes as it provides farmers greater flexibility when working their land, but conservationist groups are concerned that it will lead to large scale clearing of native vegetation which will have serious consequences for soil quality and CO2 emissions. Public consultation ends on 28 June 2016
Similar restrictions that were lifted in Queensland three years ago led to a significant increase in land clearing, so much so it will cancel out carbon dioxide emissions savings under the Federal Government’s Direct Action scheme. This has led to the Queensland Government introducing the Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 which would reinstate clearing laws but this bill is currently in committee and won’t report back until late June 2016.
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