The Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has accepted changes to the koala management plan for the 4500-lot residential development at Kings Forest, south of Tweed Heads.
The developer, Property 28 Pty Ltd, submitted the revised plan following strong objections from locals and Tweed Shire Council, who expressed grave concerns for the fate of the local koala population if the proposal went ahead.
In a media statement released this morning, the IPC said the new plan of management would:
- reduce to eight hectares the amount of koala habitat to be cleared on the development site
- change a condition of approval to require the planting of 27ha of koala food trees in Cudgen Nature Reserve or another approved location
- increase the width of the east-west wildlife corridor from 50m to 100m
- increase the proposed on-site offsets from 54.71 to 62.51 ha
- increase the total number of koala food trees from 20,578 to 76,411 and increase the proportion of koala habitat from 74 per cent to 95 per cent, and
- amend the fencing details and provide seven koala culvert crossings and one “cattle grid” to manage koala movements across the site.
This follows an examination of the case by a panel of three commissioners – Mr Ross Carter (Panel Chair), Professor Richard Mackay AM and Ms Catherine Hird.
The Commissioners met with the Applicant, Department and Council and inspected the site and surrounding locality.
They also held a public meeting at Kingscliff in March to listen to the community’s views.