Following is a brief summary compiled by a concerned industry member, which explains the implementations of the Koala State Environmental Planning Policy. This policy will replace the existing SEPP 44 Koala Habitat Protection policy and is planned to come into effect on the 1st March 2020.
"It is believed to be the largest expansion of a classification of koala habitat and covers most of NSW. This impacts private native forestry, farming/grazing and any property development or sub-division over 1 hectare in land zoned R2-R5."
"State government seeks to greatly expand and protect significantly more areas of potential koala habitat in NSW without consultation with affected stakeholders, such as farmers, landowners, developers, timber and mining industries.
"The previous SEPP 44 sought to protect populations of koalas (areas containing numerous living, breathing koalas) in the urban and peri-urban coastal strip from development. The Koala SEPP seeks to protect and recruit areas of potential koala habitat where an actual koala may not have been recorded for up to 18 years."
"The definition of core koala habitat has been updated to make it easier for areas to be identified as core koala habitat. It removes the need for koalas to be actually present and expands the number of koala feed tree species from just 10 species to 123."
"The Koala SEPP is supported by predictive maps, not field verified and with no mechanism for a landowner to contest them. Both maps are inaccurate and include some plantations, non-native species, individual paddock trees, non-tree vegetation, avocado farms, macadamia plantations, etc."
"The Koala SEPP relies heavily on a Guideline to provide clarity around various definitions and processes. SEPP becomes law on 1 March 2020 and the Guideline has still not been agreed."
"In developing Koala Plans of Management (KPoM), the Koala SEPP allows Councils to create linkages across the landscape between areas of core koala habitat, even across cleared paddocks."
"Ministerial direction that all core koala habitat must be rezoned as E2: Environmental Conservation will prevent farmers, landowners and developers from undertaking land use such as agriculture, mining, forestry, residential or business development, etc."
"Private Native Forestry operations are not permitted in core koala habitat."
"If an agricultural area is identified as core koala habitat, it becomes Sensitive Regulated Land and no longer covered by the Local Land Services Act. Routine agricultural activities, such as fence line clearing, building dams, roads etc. are either not permitted or require development consent."
© Timber NSW
For further explanation:
Footnote: If you feel the implications of the Koala SEPP - 2020 will negatively impact your property, it is recommended that you contact your local state member to voice your concerns and lodge your objection.