How native vegetation supports food and farming

Healthy and productive farms are a part of our living landscapes across much of NSW. Native vegetation and trees are well recognised as being vital to maintaining farm productivity.

The NSW Government states that native vegetation:
• controls erosion through protecting soils and riverbanks;
• reduces land degradation and salinity;
• improves water quality and availability; and
• provides habitat for a wealth of unique biodiversity including threatened species.

The latest figures show that only 9% of NSW has vegetation considered to be in close to natural condition. By maintaining existing native vegetation and restoring degraded land farmers, food producers and land managers have much to gain.

Farming

The benefits of native vegetation are also felt throughout the food chain. NSW’s reputation as a producer of clean, sustainable food is an indispensable asset to the sector. This reputation relies upon safeguards against unsustainable land management such as a loss of native vegetation.

We all have a role to play in maintaining the health and productivity of the landscape for the future.

 

Proposed changes to native vegetation management

The NSW Government is proposing to change the way native vegetation is managed. If implemented the changes will likely see an increase in the amount of land cleared.

The changes will see the introduction of a Biodiversity Conservation Act and amendments to the Local Land Services Act.

The changes proposed include:

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  • Repealing the Native Vegetation Act, and other environmental laws including the Threatened Species Conservation Act and sections of the National Parks and Wildlife Act;
  • Broadening the Codes to allow for vegetation to be more easily cleared with fewer safeguards;
  • Placing the responsibility of environmental assessment with landholders, exposing them to federal government enforcement;
  • Removing the need to assess impacts on soil quality and salinity prior to clearing;
  • Failing to plan for the impacts of increasing drought under climate change scenarios; and
  • Continuing to allow mining and resource companies to play by different rules.

Visit the government's website for more information on the changes.

More information on native vegetation and farming:

For further information on the benefits of native vegetation to farming please visit the following.

Local Land Services

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

Basalt to Bay Landcare Network

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