Advocating for nature
Nature Conservation Society of South Australia
We use evidence and science to speak up for nature conservation in South Australia, and we encourage our members and supporters to do the same.
We are unique – we are the only South Australian-based nature conservation organisation with dedicated resourcing for advocacy.
Since 1962, we have called for stronger conservation laws and policies, and promoted effective, evidence-based management of habitats and wildlife.
Our advocacy staff and Management Committee work together to provide expertise across a range of nature conservation issues, including:
- Protecting biodiversity, for example through calling for stronger State and Federal legislation and policy
- Better looking after our parks, for example by improving draft park management plans
- Bringing species back from the brink of extinction, for example by providing input to recovery plans and threat abatement plans, and
- Putting forward evidence-based nature conservation perspectives, for example to parliamentary inquiries such as into the management of native vegetation and the independent review following the 2019/20 bushfires.
We work with others, including the South Australian Nature Alliance and the Places You Love Alliance, to amplify our impact. We are also a member of the Conservation Council of SA.
We maintain regular dialogue with representatives of the South Australian Government and raise community awareness about current conservation issues via social media and media outreach.
- Historical successes include lobbying for an end to broadscale native vegetation clearance in SA, achieved by the introduction of the Native Vegetation Act 1991, and calling for the declaration and ongoing protection of various important areas throughout South Australia such as Parra Wirra Conservation Park, Hambidge and Hincks Wilderness Protection Areas and Dhilba-Guuranda-Innes National Park
- Writing influential submissions, for example regarding the drafting of the Landscape SA Act 2019 to argue for its scope to be expanded to include biodiversity conservation, which it was, and
- Media coverage on a range of nature conservation issues
Protecting 30% of nature by 2030
The Australian Government has committed to a global pact to protect 30% of Australia's land and waters by 2030. There is a remarkable difference between protecting 30% of Australia and protecting 30% of Australia’s biological diversity (ecosystems & species) – we need an evidence-based 30% protection of Australia, not 30% wherever.
Speak up for the Southern Emu Wren
The threatened Southern Emu-wren is found in only a handful of places across the lower Eyre Peninsula and there are thought to be less than 1000 birds surviving.
One of the few remaining populations is now being put at risk by a proposal to build a permanent, experimental rocket launching facility right on top of precious habitat.
Consultation on the Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act
The NCS supports a rapid transition to renewable energy to address the climate crisis, however, the nature crisis must also be recognised. Proactive planning for nature that goes beyond the current laws is required to ensure new renewable energy infrastructure doesn’t compound the nature crisis.
Submission to Planning Review Expert Panel
The NCS outlined the outstanding issues for nature protection following the introduction of the flawed “Planning and Design Code” by the Marshall Liberal Government. The Code needs to be amended to better protect nature, for example by explicitly protecting parks from inappropriate development and including a Critical Habitat Overlay to protect threatened species.
Heritage Agreement draft policy
The NCS found that the draft Policy generally provided useful guidance about Heritage Agreements, however, some points must be tightened to ensure enduring nature conservation outcomes.
Unfortunately, the review that underpinned the draft Policy was too narrow in scope to adequately explore all possible options to extend and further support private land conservation in South Australia.
Rocket launch facility planned for Whalers Way
The NCS argued this development application should be refused given the expected environmental impacts. Particularly, the facility would sit right on top of an important population of the threatened Southern Emu-Wren (Eyre Peninsula), of which there are thought to be less than a total of 1000 individuals known from just a handful of sites on Eyre Peninsula, as well as negatively impacting on a range of other threatened species.
The area is protected as a Heritage Agreement and the bushfire risk would also be unacceptable.
Native Vegetation Act Review
The NCS believes that the basic architecture of the Native Vegetation Act is sound, however, is deeply concerned that the clearance of native vegetation in South Australia continues at an unacceptably high rate.
The best available evidence suggests nearly half a million hectares of native vegetation has been lost since the Act was introduced – loss the Act is supposed to prevent.
Therefore, the NCS strongly supports inquiry into why this has occurred and what action is necessary to ensure our native vegetation is protected from further clearance.
Proposed clearance for road widening along Hog Bay Road on KI
The NCS believes that survey effort for this clearance application was insufficient to identify the full suite of threatened plants present along Hog Bay Road, “one of the most important roads in South Australia for significant threatened plant species”.
- Bushfires Royal Commission
- Proposed changes to SA’s marine parks
- Proposed clearance of scattered trees at Gawler for the Springwood development
- Wilderness Protection Areas on Kangaroo Island – management plan rewrite
- EPBC Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020
- Proposed clearance for beef feedlot near Tintinara
- EPBC Act Review
- Revised Wild Dog Management Policy
- Clearance application for Cadell Training Centre
- Clearance application for Eyre Peninsula Transmission Line
- Independent review of SA Bushfires 2019/20
- Planning Reform – Renewable energy
- Planning Reform – Phase 3 – Urban Councils
- Clearance applications for the Whyalla Super School
- Clearance applications for the Stirling Cemetery
- Clearance applications for the Roxby Downs West Accommodation Village
- Consultation on native vegetation clearance for a roundabout on Old Belair Road
- Consultation on listing eligibility for Stipiturus malachurus parimeda (Eyre Peninsual Southern Emu-wren)
- Draft Planning and Design Code (primarily focused on Phase 2 councils (Rural Areas))
- Pastoral Act Review
- New and emerging introduced species draft policy
- Dudley Peninsula (Kangaroo Island) Fire Management Plan
- Lake Gairdner National Park Draft Management Plan
- Native vegetation clearance in Flinders Chase National Park (Kangaroo Island) for luxury accommodation
- Native vegetation clearance for solar farm near Whyalla (Cultana)
- Response to SA Power Networks Final Discussion Paper on possible amendments for the 10-year review of the Electricity (Principles of Vegetation Clearance) Regulations 2010
- Draft management plan for Parks of Western and Central Kangaroo Island
- Draft Management Plan for Cleland National Park
- Pastoral Lands Bill – flawed consultation process
- Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Urban Forest
- Interim Guidelines for the Management of Roadside Vegetation Dec 2018
- Senate Inquiry into the impact of feral deer, pigs and goats in Australia
- State Planning Policy for Biodiversity
- Landscape SA Act
- Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray
- Beach-cast Marine Algae Fishery – 2 submissions
- Nullarbor and Yellabinna and Warna Manda Parks Draft Management Plans
- Feedback on the feral deer and feral pig draft policies
- Draft Outback Bushfire Management Area Plan