Cover Story – Review of the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations

By on July 30, 2015

The elected State Government gave a commitment to review the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations. Below are the Terms of Reference for which the CMPA was not consulted.

Terms of Reference
Background
The Victorian Government has committed to review the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations. The regulations are designed to achieve a no net loss in the contribution native vegetation makes to Victoria’s biodiversity.

Matters for the review
Consistent with Our Environment, Our Future, the objective of  the review will be to test the extent to which the regulations sensibly protect sensitive vegetation. The review will benchmark the regulations against the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s (VCEC) best practice regulatory principles.  More specifically the review will examine matters raised by stakeholders, including:

  • The decision making processes and the availability and appropriate use of decision making tools.
  • The accuracy of statewide mapping products and the use of site based species information for consideration in the permit application.
  • The application of the avoid, minimise and offset hierarchy.
  • How the regulations measure and manage cumulative loss.
  • The functioning and liquidity of the credit market arrangements.
  • The appropriateness of costs faced by different groups of proponents.
  • The range of objectives for regulating the removal of native vegetation.
  • The relationship between the “no net loss” objective of the regulations and the state-wide native vegetation management objective to achieve “net gain”.
  • The clarity and operability of the native vegetation exemptions.
  • Whether current compliance activities provide sufficient deterrence to illegal clearing.
  • The appropriateness of current offset rules to provide adequate compensation for the environment.

The process of ongoing system improvement and stewardship.  Stakeholder consultation sessions can be viewed at
http://www. delwp.vic.gov.au/environment-and- ildlife/biodiversity/nativevegetation-permitted-clearing-regulations-review
The CMPA supports responsible, balanced legislation and  community engagement which is in the best interests of the  State. However, there are a number of issues outstanding from the previous consultation (2012) which were not addressed:

  • The adverse impact upon the future viability of the State’s highly productive and much needed extractive industries;
  • The causation of major SME business viability concerns;
  • The imposition of an undue fi nancial burden on SME private capital resources;
  • That the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations are proving to be a major barrier to much needed extractive industries expansion.

If CMPA Members have or have had any issues with the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations please could you inform the Secretariat so these issues can be incorporated into any submission made by the CMPA.

SITE PHOTO: Goulburn Valley Resources

SITE PHOTO: Goulburn Valley Resources

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