State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019

State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 replaced State Environmental Planning Policy No 44—Koala Habitat Protection on 1 March 2020.

Development on sites over one hectare in size which are captured on the Koala Development Application Map will typically require a Koala Assessment Report. If the fauna consultant  finds that koalas are present or the land is highly suitable koala habitat and koalas have been recorded there in the past 18 years then the report must also detail management and compensation measures to minimise the impacts of the development. This is similar to the repealed legislation.

In practice there will be minimal impacts on Uralla Shire residents as:

  • Very few Uralla Shire properties have recorded koala sightings in the past 18 years according to the SEED koala sightings map, and
  • No reports commissioned in Uralla Shire in the past 3 years under the repealed legislation have found core koala habitat and required plans of management.
  • Current permissions for land management will be unaffected unless the activity requires a development application and the land is classified as core koala habitat.

Unfortunately the Koala Development Application Map captures land that is obviously not core koala habitat. For this reason, discretion is provided to the assessing planner to classify the application as Tier 1 development and provide an exemption for a fauna survey. This formalises standard practice under the repealed legislation.