Redland City Council proposes to strengthen protection of urban habitats and wildlife corridors – RCB

By August 27, 2021 News

AUGUST 27, 2021 – 1:30PM

Local News

Council is proposing to amend Redland City Plan to strengthen protection of urban habitats and wildlife corridors.

Mayor Karen Williams said the amendment to the city plan would be submitted to Planning Minister Steven Miles before being released for public consultation.

“We expect that public consultation will commence early in 2022,” she said.

Earlier this month the Environment Department issued a permit to remove and relocate a koala from Cowley Street, Ormiston after developers got the go-ahead to remove trees. There was an outcry from the community after huge gum trees were cleared from the koala corridor in January, with wildlife activists saying it was a devastating blow for urban koalas.

Cr Williams said the proposed changes would only affect parts of properties that were currently mapped as having local or state environmental values and were located in the urban footprint of ShapingSEQ.

“These amendments ensure that vegetation clearing in urban habitat, and corridors that connect them, are mapped in city plan through a new category (matters of local environmental significance) called wildlife core and habitat and are subject to a higher level of regulation in the city plan,” she said.

The amendment proposes new assessment criteria to require that any proposed clearing avoids clearing native vegetation within a mapped wildlife core and corridor habitat.

“Where this is not reasonably possible, the clearing will need to be minimised and mitigated, and an offset provided for any unavoidable loss of native vegetation,” Cr Williams said.

The amendment is proposed to apply to just over 1000 privately owned properties, with another 1080 publicly-owned properties.

Cr Williams said council will provide support for assisting landowners affected by the proposed amendment should it be introduced following public consultation.

“To recognise the contribution that affected private landowners make to the protection of the city’s environmental values, an environmental rate concession, tied to the environmental levy, for all private properties that pay a general rate included in the amendment is considered most appropriate,” she said.

Council would provide updates and background information on the amendment to the community via a project page on its Your Say website.