Impacts of Native Vegetation and Biodiversity Regulations
This public inquiry has concluded. The inquiry report was released by the Australian Government on 10 August 2004.
The introduction of regulatory regimes in a number of States and Territories along with the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, particularly within the past five years, has raised concerns over possible negative impacts on farming practices, productivity, property values and returns and the investment behaviour of affected landholders.
The inquiry reported on the implications of the new regimes including:
- the impacts on farming practices, productivity, sustainability, property values and returns, landholders' investment patterns and the attitude of finance providers, and on other economic activities such as infrastructure development and mineral exploration, and flow on effects to regional communities, arising from the regulation of native vegetation clearance and/or biodiversity conservation, including:
- both positive and negative impacts
- level of understanding of the relevant legislative and regulatory regimes among stakeholders
- likely duration of such impacts and the factors influencing their duration
- extent to which existing government measures are mitigating any negative impacts.
- efficiency and effectiveness of the above regimes in reducing the costs of resource degradation and the appropriateness of the current distribution of costs for preventing environmental degradation across industry, all levels of government, and the community
- whether there is any overlap or inconsistency between Commonwealth and State/Territory regimes, including their administration
- evidence for possible perverse environmental outcomes, including those that may result from perceptions of a financial impact, arising from the implementation of the above regimes
- adequacy of assessments of economic and social impacts of decisions made under the above regulatory regimes
- degree of transparency and extent of community consultation when developing and implementing the above regimes
- recommendations (of a regulatory or non-regulatory nature) that governments could consider to minimise the adverse impacts of the above regimes, while achieving the desired environmental outcomes, including measures to clarify the responsibilities and rights of resource users.