Koala Conservation Strategy and regulations
The Property Council, in conjunction with the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), provided a comprehensive response to the Draft Koala Conservation Strategy (KCS) and mapping.
The submission followed the Property Council and UDIA’s initial submission on the draft Koala Habitat mapping in December 2019.
The most recent submission details concerns related to whether the strategy is an effective method of ensuring positive outcomes for Koalas, the negative impact the strategy will have on land supply, and how the strategy will integrate with seemingly incongruent government policies and strategies.
Despite the submission period only closing on 31 January, the Government introduced regulatory amendments to the planning framework and enforcement of updated koala habitat mapping on 7 February.
New regulatory provisions prohibit clearing of koala habitat within Koala Priority Areas with some limited exemptions.
The State Government will now be responsible for assessing development that proposes to clear koala habitat areas outside the Koala Priority Areas. Applications will be assessed against the new State Development Code. However, its understood that existing development applications that were properly made prior the regulation coming into effect will be assessed against the previous provisions.
In addition to the new assessment regime, the Government has updated the Queensland Environmental Offsets Policy to support the new protections. Furthermore, a new Koala-sensitive design guideline: a guide to koala-sensitive design measures for planning and development activities has been released.
To view the regulatory amendments to planning framework click here, or to access the new koala habitat mapping click here.
The Property Council will continue its advocacy efforts throughout the strategy’s implementation and refinement.
To view the Property Council’s most recent submission on the Koala Conservation Strategy, please click here.