Koala SEPP 2019 will be remade across NSW as Koala SEPP 2021. Core rural zones in rural areas will be decoupled from the SEPP as new codes that protect koala habitat under the Local Land Services Act are developed over the next month.
This will vastly reduce red tape by removing the dual consent requirements facing farmers and foresters while immediately introducing enhanced protection for koala habitat in areas where more than 95 per cent of development activity occurs.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the concerns of landholders in regional NSW have been heard by the NSW Government.
“This is a win for regional NSW and balances the interests of farmers and the protection of koalas and their habitat,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Land zoned for primary production or forestry in regional NSW will not be subject to the new SEPP, which means farmers will not be strangled by red tape.
“The intention has always been to find a solution to protect both farmers and koalas and we have successfully arrived at the Koala SEPP 2021.”
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the new solution is a big step forward for the protection of koalas in NSW.
“The new SEPP will apply to areas where more than 95 per cent of development occurs across NSW - these are the places where koala protection is needed most,” Mr Stokes said.
“The new SEPP will help us achieve the NSW Koala Strategy’s objective of stabilising, then increasing the populations of koalas in the wild.”
Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the new solution will ensure protections for core koala habitat and colonies across NSW.
“We have ambitious plans to double koala populations in NSW by 2050 and that means we need the right policy tools in place to protect and preserve wildlife and their habitat,” Mr Kean said.
“This is a good first step and we will continue to build on that with our soon to be announced Koala Strategy 2.0 which will include targeted conservation and investment actions to boost conservation across the State.”
To ensure that Koala habitat is protected, whilst limiting unnecessary regulation on rural land use, the following measures will be introduced:
The NSW Koala Strategy commits Government to stabilise and then increase koala numbers in the wild by identifying and protecting koala habitat on public and private land.
Since 2018, the NSW Government has invested more than $44.7 million to secure koalas in the wild as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.
To date, initiatives include purchasing more than 3,600 hectares of priority habitat for permanent protection as part of the National Parks estate and securing 24,000 hectares of State forest as koala parks and reserves.