(Private Members Statement, 15 September 2015, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
Biodiversity is the variety of plants, animals and micro-organisms in the environment. Protecting biodiversity is important to my constituents because it supports human life, clean air, clean water, fertile land and pollination. Australia has a shameful record of biodiversity loss with the highest rates of species loss among developed countries. In New South Wales, 100 animals and plants have become extinct since European settlement and nearly 1,000 are at risk with 59 per cent of animals listed as threatened. We have lost more than one-third of our native vegetation and almost all of our rainforests. Last year the Government began a review of the legislation that protects threatened species, and I understand is considering introducing a single piece of biodiversity legislation. The various Acts protect different aspects of biodiversity and these protections should not be eroded in any way with enforcement and administration better resourced to make them more effective. Of particular concern are indications that protections under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 could be removed to permit broadscale clearing of biodiversity-rich privately owned land.