The Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation commenced on 7 February 2020, which amends the Environmental Offsets Regulation 2014, Planning Regulation 2017, Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017 and Vegetation Management Regulation 2012. The aim of this legislation is to provide increased protection to identified koala habitat areas in South East Queensland.
The changes will impact on the ability to clear a property for any development that is mapped as a Koala Habitat area within a Koala priority area. There are some exemptions, including a one-off provision to clear 500 m2 of Koala Habitat Area or for certain infrastructure clearing activities (fence, tracks or bushfire buffers).
For development sites within the mapped Koala Habitat Area, but not in the priority area, and is interfering with mapped koala habitat, the Queensland Government has developed new assessment benchmarks that will support local governments to consider koala conservation within project proposals, through a process of referral of the development application to the State Assessment Referral Agency. Such new development will be assessed against the provisions of the new State Development Assessment Provision 25.
Changes to this legislation will only impact on development applications lodged for assessment after 7 February 2020. For development applications made (or approved) prior to this date, the previous planning framework (including any previous koala habitat mapping) applies.
Talk to our experienced town planners on 07 3870 8888 who can work hand in hand with you to understand the impacts of these legislative changes on your development, and work towards mitigating complex problems in an innovative and value adding way.
Photo Credit: Dave Fleming