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are reasons to issue a notice urgently, the terms of the notice will be negotiated. If agreement cannot be reached, DNR will issue a remediation notice;
issue a Penalty Notice. Penalty Notices should not be used in relation to the more
serious breaches and where prosecution is the more appropriate outcome;
commence proceedings in the Land and Environment Court or in a Local Court ; or
cancel or suspend any relevant licence, approval or consent.
In all prosecutions in which the Department is involved, the burden of proof to secure a conviction rests with the Department. All matters in which the Department exercises its regulatory role are criminal in nature. Therefore, the standard of proof required to enable a court to find that an offence has been proved, is proof ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, as to the elements of the offence.
The Department will review its implementation of this Policy and its compliance program annually and will report on implementation in each Annual Report. 16
MAJOR REPORTS SINCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIVE
VEGETATION ACT 2003
The Productivity Commission released a report on the impacts of native vegetation regulations on landholders in 2004. The report focused on the impacts of regulatory regimes. The Commission was not asked to assess the benefits of retaining native vegetation and/or biodiversity conservation as such. In this regard, the Commission noted that considering only the costs imposed on landholders by environmental policies would
not provide a sound basis for decision making. However, the Commission stated:
both positive and negative impacts of regulatory regimes on landholders and regional communities were considered; and although environmental benefits accruing to the community at large were not assessed, this does not imply that the community-wide benefits from native vegetation management are insignificant. Indeed, benefits may be very large – however the benefits are likely to be context specific and difficult to quantify. 17
The Commission noted that private protection of native vegetation and biodiversity, and the range of environmental services they deliver, is likely to be significantly greater than zero because many production and consumption benefits from environmental services accrue to landholders. Nonetheless, this is likely to fall short of the level society deems appropriate because of:
Department of Natural Resources, Compliance Policy http://www.dlwc.nsw.gov.au/legal/comp-policy.htm, Accessed April 2006.
Productivity Commission, Impacts of Native Vegetation and Biodiversity Regulation. Productivity Commission Inquiry Report No 29, 8 April 2004, at 4.