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. 

Our successes 

  • 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

Active Campaigns

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. 

Featured Submissions

Consultation on listing eligibility for Stipiturus malachurus parimeda (Eyre Peninsula southern emu–wren)

The NCS supported the proposed “uplisting” of the Southern Emu-wren (Eyre Peninsula) from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ (i.e. closer to extinction) under national environmental law, and called for systematic survey of the subspecies’ population size and distribution as a critical first step toward its recovery.

Consultation on native vegetation clearance for a roundabout on Old Belair Road

The NCS supported the proposed “uplisting” of the Southern Emu-wren (Eyre Peninsula) from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ (i.e. closer to extinction) under national environmental law, and called for systematic survey of the subspecies’ population size and distribution as a critical first step toward its recovery.

Draft Management Plan for Cleland National Park

The NCS concurred with the Draft Management Plan that Cleland is a very important area of bushland and called for the final Plan to consistently state that there will be no further development within Conservation Zone A, including of tracks and trails, to protect its natural values.

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.

Pastoral Lands Bill – flawed consultation process

The NCS refused to participate in further consultation on the proposed Pastoral Lands Bill as none of the earlier feedback provided by the NCS had been met with a direct acknowledgement nor changes made to the proposed Bill as a result.