Submission on Proposed Changes to NSW Land Clearing Controls

On 21 June 2017 the AEF made a submission [link here] to the NSW Government on the draft subordinate legislation, which that Government proposed to enact, and has since done so so, as part of comprehensive reforms to its land clearing and biodiversity conservation measures.  The reforms included an extensive set of regulatory controls and complementary measures to promote conservation on private land.   

Overall the AEF considers that the package is proceeding in the right direction but progress is modest, at best. Moreover, there is still considerable uncertainty about a number of critical design details of the land clearing regime and how they will work in practice.

The AEF's greatest concerns are the constitutional shortcuts, which the NSW Government has adopted. One is the reversal of the 'onus of proof' when adjudicating offences under the principal legislation—(the new Biodiversity Conservation Act and the amended Local Services Act. The other is the decision to put most of the critical legislative detail in subordinate legislation, which significantly reduces Parliamentary scrutiny. Both shortcuts are likely to stoke conflict with landholders over land clearing rather than calm it.

Submission to Senate Inquiry into Murray-Darling Basin Plan

In January 2016 AEF made a submission to the Senate Select Committee inquiring into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Submission to Inquiry into Environmental Organisations Register

In May 2015 AEF made a submission to the inquiry into the Commonwealth Register of Environmental Organisations by the Standing Committee on the Environment of the House of Representatives.

Submission to Senate Inquiry on Australia's Environment

The AEF made a submission to the inquiry by the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications on Australia's environment. A copy may be accessed here.  Date TBC

Critique of proposed changes to Tasmanian World Heritage Area

On 12 March 2014 the AEF released a report demonstrating that the 'minor boundary' nomination by the Gillard Government for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is deeply flawed and should be amended as proposed by the Abbott Government.  The report can be accessed here.

Submission to Senate Inquiry into Noise from Wind Farms

The AEF made a submission to the inquiry by the Senate Environment & Communications Legislation Committee into a private members bill tabled by Senators Madigan and Xenophon.  Their bill would amend the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act to limit excessive noise from wind farms and require noise data to be posted on the internet to assist with noise monitoring and compliance.  The AEF submission can be accessed here

Submission to NSW Inquiry into Public Land Management

In July 2012 the AEF made a Submission to the Inquiry on Public Land Management by the General Purpose Standing Committee No.5 of the NSW Legislative Council  A copy can be found here

Australia's Unappreciated & Maligned Fisheries

Australian marine waters encompass a vast variety and quantity of marine life encircling the globe’s largest island, enabling Australia to lay claim to the world’s third largest Exclusive Economic Zone.  Almost without exception, away from coastal and tourist influences, these waters are pristine, rarely visited and are home to the same number of fish species today as at European settlement.

This is not well-understood by most Australians, however, due to campaigns by Australian and international green groups to ‘save’ our marine waters, reefs and fish species by extending Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) .  Their proposals would that Australia, by itself, was responsibility for about half of all MPAs world-wide but this extension would produce no net benefit from an environmental or economic viewpoint to the Australian people.

Proposals for extraordinary increases to MPAs motivated the AEF to commission marine biologist Dr Walter Starck to prepare this report on Australia’s fisheries and their management, and the effects of the proposed MPAs.  Dr Starck's report of May 2012 may be accessed here.

Submission on NSW Planning Guidelines for Wind Farms

The AEF submission of March 2012 to the NSW government on the draft Planning Guidelines for Wind Farms can be found here

Plugging the Mouth of the Murray River

AEF commissioned Dr Jennifer Marohasy to prepare a report on the geomorphological history of the Murray River's terminal Lower Lakes and Estuary.  The history and management of the Lakes are a key issue in the development of policy and plans for water management in the Murray Darling Basin.  Dr Marohasy's report was released in February 2012 and can be viewed here

Submission to Senate Inquiry into Wind Turbines

In October 2011 AEF made a submission to the Senate Select Committee inquiring into wind turbines.

Submission to Senate Inquiry on Rural Wind Farms

A copy of the AEF submission of February 2011 can be found here

Submission to House of Reps Inquiry into Murray Darling Basin

A copy of the AEF submission od December 2010 can be found here

Submission to Senate Inquiry on Native Vegetation Laws, Greenhouse Gas Abatement and Climate Change Measures, March 2010

A copy of the AEF submission can be found here

Organic food loses the high-ground

An article by AEF member David Leyonhjelm published in the Business Spectator 3 June 2010

Less than Half Support an Emissions Trading Scheme

See AEF media release

Listen to the interview with Max Rheese on 2GB

Echua Rally Opposes VEAC Proposal for Red River Gums

A Public Land Rights Rally was held in Echuca on October 5th 2008 to protest against the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council proposals for the red gum forests of the Murray River.

2000 marchers, a number of them AEF members, blocked the traffic in High Street Echuca and brought the town to a standstill.  Local people and visitors alike clapped and cheered as the march led by dozens of Barmah cattlemen on their horses proceeded to the local park to hear speakers denounce the proposals that if implemented will see selective timber harvesting, controlled grazing and campfires in the holiday period all banned from new parks.

Nearby state forests at Nyah are already declining in health, even though grazing has been excluded for only six years. The parasitic native cherry, Exocarpus strictus, is sweeping through the forest and forming dense stands, affecting the vigour of the red gums.

Alternative Plan for River Red Gum Forests

The Rivers & Red Gum Environment Alliance launched its alternative plan to the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council [VEAC] proposals for the River Red Gum Forests of the Murray River.  The launch took place at the Victorian Parliament on Thursday 31 July 2008.

The AEF is one of the 25 organisations that make up the Alliance and contributed to the compilation of the report.

The major recommendation of the Alliance Conservation & Community Plan is the creation of 104,700 hectares of Ramsar Reserves to allow for multiple use management of the forests and a higher level of biodiversity conservation.  Read more on the launch and the Alliance plan