New koala regulations & Koala Conservation Plan

The Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation commenced on 7 February 2020 and amends the Environmental Offsets Regulation 2014, Planning Regulation 2017, Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017 and Vegetation Management Regulation 2012 to provide increased protection to koala habitat areas in South East Queensland.

As part of the amendment, a new set of regulatory maps have been produced. The Koala Conservation Plan Map identifies:

  • Koala Priority Areas (KPA);
  • Koala habitat areas; and,
  • Koala districts map.

The State Government will assume responsibility for assessing developments proposing clearing of koala habitat areas outside of KPAs. For proposed developments that don’t involve clearing of koala habitat but are within KPAs, local governments will need to assess the development against new assessment benchmarks. Certain exemptions will apply to the koala habitat area planning protections; however, where there is no exemption, developments will need to consider:

  • The need for assessment by either local or State government, including compliance with the relevant benchmarks;
  • Koala-sensitive design principles; and/or,
  • Provision of offsets.

A mapping change process has also been made available where landholders can apply to make, amend or revoke koala habitat area mapping on the land.

Litoria Consulting can assist with any Koala conservation matters, including the development assessment process and mapping change requests.