26 September 2023

Koala protection rules open for feedback

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The Department of Environment and Science is seeking feedback on the State’s koala protection regulations.

Introduced in February 2020, amendments to planning regulations increased existing protections for koala habitat in the South-East of the State where koalas are particularly vulnerable.

The Department said more than 714,040 hectares were now mapped as koala habitat, including more than 332,278 hectares classified as Koala Priority Areas, where development is prohibited.

“Three years on from its introduction, a post-implementation review of the regulations will seek feedback on how to improve on areas like unintended clearing of koala habitat, monitoring, and some experiences with complexity, costs and limited certainty from industry,” the Department said.

“Feedback received will contribute to the development of final recommendations published in a Decision Post Implementation Review report.”

Minister for the Environment, Meaghan Scanlon said the current koala protections were the strongest in the State’s history.

“However, like any good Government, it’s necessary to review regulations and see how we can continue to improve,” Ms Scanlon said.

“We have heard from stakeholders that the 2020 koala regulations, which include both development assessment requirements and a prohibition on applications to clear koala habitat in priority areas, have been successful — but we also know we can do more.”

She said her Department would be seeking views on improvements to the framework to meet the needs of its users and ensure the protection of koala populations in the long term.

Information on how to comment on the review and the proposed improvements to koala habitat regulations can be accessed at this PS News link.

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