Friends of Grasslands

Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.

FOG considers that the consultation timeframe for a community organisation such as FOG to adequately review such an important and lengthy piece of legislation as this Exposure Draft to be insufficient. Given the extended period (almost three years) since the round of consultation on the review of the Nature Conservation Act 1980, a period of six weeks is not enough for community groups with significant expertise in conservation matters but little in legislative drafting to prepare a considered response to the Exposure Draft.

FOG was signatory to a letter from the Conservation Council to Mr Simon Corbell, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development requesting a) an extension of the consultation period and b) for the bill to go to an Assembly Committee or some other mechanism which allows for dialogue with a range of diverse stakeholders. We will also be working with the Conservation Council and other member groups to provide a considered joint response to the Exposure Draft in the new year. As we have already identified some areas of concern with the Draft, we request that this joint response be accepted when submitted.

Yours sincerely

13 December 2013