The Nature Conservation Council supports the recommendations of the inquiry into last summer's NSW bushfires but says it should also have recommended special protection for wildlife refuges after major fires.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday released the findings of the independent inquiry into the 2019-2020 fire season in which 25 people died and more than 5.5 million hectares were burned.
"This report is a major contribution to our understanding of the causes and impacts of the Black Summer bushfires and the government deserves credit for wholeheartedly embracing the inquiry's recommendations," Nature Conservation Council CEO Chris Gambian said in a stement on Wednesday.
He urged the government to ensure the next NSW budget fully funds the swift implementation of all 76 recommendations.
"However the inquiry has overlooked the need for bushfire risk management plans to give greater value to the protection of environmental assets, such as threatened species and rainforests, and outline measures to protect these priceless assets.
"These fires demonstrated the need for fire planners to value and protect environmental assets like koala forest habitat in the same way they do houses and other infrastructure," he said.
Old sheds and derelict houses received more protection than environmental or cultural assets in an active fire situation.
"The protection strategy that was developed and deployed for the Wollemi Pine during the fires showed what can be done," he said.
Dr Gambian also said the report should have recommended special protection for wildlife refuges after major fire events.
"Unburnt patches of forest are critical for wildlife that have fled fires and should be protected at all costs," he said.
"Under current arrangements they have no special status. That's why logging in state forests has continued in unburnt forests even in regions where more than 80 per cent of the forest burned.
The conservation council agreed with the recommendation vegetation clearing policies be clear but any new land clearing rules must meet existing environmental standards in NSW Rural Fire Service Codes.
The government has accepted all 76 recommendations of the inquiry including the increased role of landowners in hazard-reduction burns, the trial of "military-style" aerial firefighting with water bombers and the performance of hazard reductions at night.
Australian Associated Press