Lismore City Council is seeking community comment on its draft Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management for south-east Lismore which is now on public exhibition.
Council’s manager of integrated planning, Steve Denize, said the aim of the koala plan is to develop a more transparent and consistent process to be used when assessing development applications that impact on an identified koala habitat area within the local government area.
‘There has already been quite a bit of community discussion about the document and one point that I would like to be very clear on is that the regulatory elements of the draft koala plan will only apply when a development application is lodged, and not otherwise, and so for example the plan will not have an impact on farmers carrying out their day-to-day farm management activities,’ Mr Denize said.
‘The draft koala plan also recognises that Council has a responsibility to introduce sound practices to minimise threats to koalas and their habitat, such as developing programs to reduce dog attacks and road deaths or injuries, and so some non-regulatory recommendations for Council are also included.
‘Currently the council applies the state legislation protecting koalas on a case-by-case basis. What we are working towards with the draft koala plan is improving that arrangement by providing the community with a document that clearly outlines an up-front regulatory framework for people lodging a development application in that area.’
The public exhibition period is Wednesday 14 December 2011 through until 5.00pm Friday 3 February 2012. The draft koala plan, along with a fact sheet, a FAQ document and other relevant documents can be viewed via Council’s website www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.
Submissions on the plan can be made by email to [email protected] or by post to PO Box 23A, Lismore NSW 2480.