The Coalition government has lined up almost one third of the state for privatisation and increased land clearing, as it proposes to sell the land on which more than 4,300 grazing leases are held, across 32 million hectares of publicly owned land in western NSW.

On 19 March the NSW Government called for applications from graziers across Western NSW to convert their grazing leases to freehold title in what may become the largest privatisation of land yet seen in NSW.

Greens MP and Crown Lands Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This is a sell-off on a continental scale, with 4,300 grazing leases up for privatisation across millions of hectares of Western NSW.

“The entire western third of the state is up for sale as the Coalition moves to transfer public land into private hands.

“Currently grazing leases in western NSW keep the land in public hands and put restrictions on land clearing and land use.

“With this proposed fire-sale, land clearing and land use restrictions will be lost and the bulldozers will follow.

“The end result will be even more land clearing across some of the most ecologically vulnerable parts of the state.

“These sales are being pushed despite the fact that the legislation is not yet in effect, plans to protect travelling stock routes aren’t completed and there is no clear process for native title claims to be protected.

“It’s a case of sell now and damn the cost from a government that is addicted to privatisation and quick cash grabs.

“The Greens are calling for the government to halt this land sale until Aboriginal land claims are secured, environmental protections are ensured and the public interest gets a look in,” Mr Shoebridge said