Draft Eyre Peninsula Regional Roadside Vegetation Management Plan

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eyre peninsula roadsideWe provided comment on the first regional roadside vegetation management plan that has been developed in SA, on the Eyre Peninsula. Once finalised, the plan will provide NVC approval for certain roadside clearance activities. We commented that the clearance envelope being sought is greater than dimensions specified in the NV Regulations (2017) and emphasized the importance of using all available information on the conservation significance of roadside vegetation in the proposed risk management program.

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Feedback on the feral deer and feral pig draft policies

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Biosecurity SA sought feedback on a new policy to manage feral pigs and a revised policy on deer management. We view feral pig and feral and farmed deer management as important biosecurity and conservation management issues and we supported the Government's objectives and proposed policy changes. Our primary concern was how compliance with these policies will be monitored, and suggested that each policy be amended to include this information.

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Leading Practice Mining Review - Recommendations to date

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In September 2017, 82 recommendations from the Leading Practice Mining Review were released based on progress to date, and our comments were sought. We cautiously welcomed the recommendations related to environmental protection, particularly those designed to ensure the rehabilitation of land impacted by mining and those to increase transparency and the provision of publicly available information on mining activities. We remain concerned, however, about the need for native vegetation to be properly protected from clearance associated with mining or exploration activity.

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Interim Native Vegetation Council Guidelines: clearance of Scattered Trees & clearance for Farming/Forestry/Agriculture

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As part of the transition from the Native Vegetation Regulations 2003 to the Native Vegetation Regulations 2017, the Native Vegetation Council reviewed two sets of guidelines made under section 25 of the Native Vegetation Act 1991 (the Act). Our comments reiterated that we remain concerned that this transition is a move away from policies that avoid clearing toward policies that allow for clearing and offsetting.

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Discussion Paper re-Deductible Gift Recipients

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In June 2017, the Australian Government Treasury released a discussion paper on potential reforms to the Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) tax arrangements. DGR status allows organisations, such as NCSSA, to receive gifts and contributions for which donors are able to claim a tax deduction. Potential reforms included requiring charities to provide 'additional information' about their advocacy activities, and specifically requiring environmental organisations to commit no less than 25 per cent of their annual expenditure to 'on ground' work. We argued that advocacy is an important part of the work of all environmental groups and therefore we did not support the calling in to question of activities that are not specifically 'on-ground' in their delivery. Environmental groups are permitted by law to conduct both 'on-ground' and advocacy activities in pursuit of their charitable purpose to protect and enhance the natural environment.

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