HG Paper: Koalas: The Current State of Play - 4 Mar 2010

On 26 February 2010, the State Government made the South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions. These replaced the draft South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions, which had taken effect on 2 November 2009 and expired on 28 February 2010.

The Provisions, and the Draft Provisions, form part of the State Government’s response to the rapid decline in koala numbers in South East Queensland. The Provisions are a “moratorium” measure, intended to protect koala habitat in the interim until the State Government finalises its overall response, including final, more comprehensive State Planning Koala Conservation Regulatory Provisions. The Provisions extend the “state of play” brought about by the Draft Provisions in November 2009, and for the time being, the Provisions effectively prohibit the development of land mapped as Protected Koala Bushland Habitat area.

This article focuses on the changes to the “exemption” provisions from the November 2009 Draft Provisions to the current Provisions. These are of particular importance to developers and landowners who had existing applications and approvals in place before 2 November 2009, because the effect of the Provisions in some circumstances is to effectively sterilise land without compensation being provided.

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