Threatened species legislation: Does it work for local communities or Local Government?
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Judy Lambert, 2004. "Threatened species legislation: Does it work for local communities or Local Government?", Threatened species legislation: Is it just an Act?, Pat Hutchings, Daniel Lunney, Chris Dickman
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The paper examines the Commonwealth and New South Wales threatened species legislation from the perspective of local communities and a local government seeking to protect threatened species. Both the Commonwealth and State legislation are identified potentially to be useful tools, providing ample opportunities for involvement in protecting threatened species and ecological communities and their habitats. However, groups and individuals in the community who have an interest in conserving these key elements of unique natural environments are disengaging. Ministerial discretion is undermining commitment to the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Local Governments, faced with a growing suite of State and Commonwealth demands, have scarcely begun to engage with Commonwealth threatened species legislation, even though Matters of National Environmental Significance addressed by the Commonwealth legislation may be locally relevant. The protection of endangered species, ecological communities and populations on North Head at Manly is used to highlight some of these concerns as they relate to both Commonwealth and State threatened species legislation. The paper concludes with a call for stronger partnerships between scientists, local government, local communities and the environment movement, to bring governments to greater accountability in using the existing legislation to protect Australia's unique biodiversity, some of which has an iconic status locally.