If you are a property owner in South East Queensland, you should consider whether you need to make a submission on the:
- result of your property’s Koala Habitat Map Report (if your property has been developed) by 22 December 2019; and
- Draft SEQ Koala Conservation Strategy 2019 – 2024 (Draft Strategy) by 31 January 2020.
In 2017, the Queensland Koala Expert Panel released a final report (Expert Report) identifying six recommendations to protect koalas and koala habitat in South East Queensland. The State Government indicates that the Draft Strategy outlines existing and future strategies to implement all six recommendations in the Expert Report. The Draft Strategy is silent on any compensation that may be available for affected property owners.
More than 570,000 hectares of land have been declared as ‘koala priority areas’ and there will be changes to the planning framework that are expected to involve more stringent development and vegetation clearing restrictions. For example, the Draft Strategy proposes that the clearing of koala habitat within a koala priority area be prohibited subject to limited exceptions and that development on koala habitat areas within a koala priority area that do not involve clearing should be assessed to ensure conservation outcomes such as habitat quality protection and preservation of safe koala movement are achieved.
If you have any queries about your property’s Koala Habitat Map Report or the Draft Strategy, or if you would like assistance making a written submission, please contact a member of our team.