On Tuesday night Lismore City Council adopted its long-awaited Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPoM) for south-east Lismore.
The motion to support the plan was by passed six votes to five. Mayor Jenny Dowell, Deputy Mayor Isaac Smith, and Crs Simon Clough, Vanessa Ekins, David Yarnall and Ray Houston all supported the motion with Crs Graham Meineke, John Chant, Neil Marks, Peter Graham and Gianpiero Battista opposing it.
Echonetdaily understands the plan was emailed to planning and infrastructure minister Brad Hazzard this afternoon, meaning that a rescission motion cannot now be lodged.
‘Landowners can still do a lot on their property that does not require consent, particularly if it’s farming land,’ Mayor Dowell told ABC radio this morning. But if they want to put in a development for a house, there is now a plan of management for koalas on that land.’
‘The decision concluded a 17-year journey for Lismore,’ said Friends of the Koala president Lorraine Vass last night.
‘The council engaged in developing a CKPoM for the south-eastern portion of the LGA back in 1995. The first plan was merely noted by the council of the day in 2004.’
Ms Vass commended LCC’s Integrated Planning Team on their efforts and thanked those who wrote submissions supporting the draft plan. She said that of 904 submissions received, 64 per cent were in favour of the plan.
‘Friends of the Koala has campaigned for a CKPoM since the outset. We also lobbied hard at the last election and the council has delivered (just). Needless to say we will be working even harder now to retain at least the present balance at the September elections.’
Ms Vass said the group was now looking toward Tweed and Byron shires, both of which are preparing CKPoMs for their coastal areas.
‘With the recent federal listing, the announcement of the Tweed-Byron Biodiversity Fund grant at the end of last week and the state government’s commitment to holding a Community Koala Summit in conjunction with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW by the end of the year, koala conservationists on the Northern Rivers are optimistic that koala recovery will become more strategic and effective,’ she told Echonetdaily.
‘An important element in ensuring momentum is maintained will be the local government elections in September.’