Council aims to protect wildlife corridors through City Plan amendment

Council is continuing to pursue an amendment to the Redland City Plan to strengthen the protection of significant urban habitats and wildlife corridors across the Redlands Coast.

Acting Mayor Julie Talty said the proposed major amendment aimed to improve statutory land use planning protections to environmental corridors within the urban footprint, as identified in Council’s Wildlife Connections Plan 2018-2028.

“The proposed changes will only affect parts of properties that are within the urban footprint of ShapingSEQ and are already mapped as having local or state environmental values,” Cr Talty said.

“These amendments will ensure that native vegetation clearing in the city’s most important urban habitat and connecting wildlife corridors are mapped in City Plan through a new category of Matters of Local Environmental Significance (MLES), and would be subject to a higher level of regulation.

“This will ensure all native vegetation clearing in these important urban habitats and corridors would be assessable against the environmental significance overlay of the City Plan.

“To support the stronger protections, the amendment proposes new assessment criteria to require that any proposed clearing firstly avoids clearing native vegetation within a mapped MLES wildlife core and corridor habitat.

“Where this is not reasonably possible, the clearing will need to be minimised and mitigated, and an offset provided for any unavoidable loss of native vegetation.

“The amendment is proposed to apply to just over 1000 privately-owned properties, with another 1080 publicly-owned properties.”

Cr Talty said the amendment would also update mapped Matters of State Environmental Significance (MSES) in City Plan to reflect changes made to the State mapping since the City Plan commenced in 2018.

“It also proposes some minor changes to mapped MLES to update this mapping, particularly in areas of Mount Cotton that no longer contain these values,” she said.

The major amendment is currently being considered by Planning Minister Steven Miles through a statutory State Interest Review, and once complete, Council will provide updates and comprehensive information about the amendment on its Your Say website.

The information will outline the proposed changes as well as provide opportunities for the community to submit comments through a public consultation process.