‘Simply not true’: Department hits back at koala concerns
The Department of Environment, Industry and Environment has responded to the Tweed Shire Council's concerns developers would pre-emptively clear rural land under the koala SEPP.
Deputy secretary Planning and Assessment Marcus Ray said it was "simply not true" that koalas would not be protected under the new State Environmental Planning Policy.
"Until the new private native forestry and land management codes that protect koala habitat under the Local Land Services Act are finalised in the coming weeks the 2020 koala habitat policy continues to apply to core rural land," Mr Ray said.
"The rules around land clearing in rural areas have not changed with the introduction of our 2021 policy and are still contained in the land management codes.
"Even when the updated and strengthened codes are in place any future development applications in these rural zones will need to consider the 2021 policy."
Councillor's raised concerns at last week's general meeting where they mayor called on other councillors to lobby the state to include rural areas under the new code.
As it stands, the Tweed Coast area will be protected under the koala SEPP.