Stop Gympie Regional Council from repealing the region's environment laws.
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Recently, Gympie Regional Council voted to repeal the Temporary Local Planning Instruments (TLPIs) that were adopted in February 2020 to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat in areas of conservation significance and environmental conservation on the Southside Local Development Area and on rural residential land throughout the Gympie region.
The Southside area has been extensively drone surveyed by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and determined as core koala habitat. Public sightings on the publicly available Wildnet mapping system also confirm multiple sightings in the area. It was also recommended by the State Government Koala Expert Panel to be included in the new Koala Conservation Strategy, however, falls just outside of the SE Qld region. The TLPI was awarded a national environmental award for sustainability and comes off the back of 5 years of research, planning and consultation to ensure that critical habitat was protected. Now, just before Christmas, Council snuck through an agenda item to repeal all of this planning, which we believe is in contravention of local, state and national planning regulations.
With the TLPIs repealed, there is now no protection for wildlife and wildlife habitat on private land in the Gympie region other than the small parcels of land covered by state government vegetation management legislation. We also have reason to believe that the doors to developers will be opened immediately, which means that we need to act NOW!
Our wildlife is already suffering from the impacts of loss of habitat and fragmentation of wildlife corridors due to development, extreme droughts and bushfires. When do we say that enough is enough and act to protect our unique and important species before they are gone forever?
If you feel strongly about the protection of koalas, the transparency of local Councils and the importance of planning regulations to protect habitat, please contact the State Ministers for Environment and Development, the Mayor of the Gympie Region Glen Hartwig and the other local councillors ASAP and let them know that you do not support this action and demand that they halt development and reinstate the TLPI in the region at least until adequate public consultation is undertaken and existing scientific evidence is examined. These decisions by Council are ill-informed and not in the best interest of the region. They will benefit a few landholders and developers in the short-term, impacting wildlife and the resilience of Gympie's already struggling natural environment for generations to come.
WATCH THE COUNCIL MEETING HERE ON THE REPEAL (at 57 minutes in): https://www.facebook.com/gympieregionalcouncil/videos/246740780135258 which was an absolute disgrace and reflects how little knowledge or understanding Councillors, the Mayor and their so-called "expert" (who has no scientific background and is a training facilitator from Brisbane) have on this issue. They should NOT be making decisions on matters that they have no expertise or understanding of!
You can write to and call the offices of the following MPs and Councillors to make your voice heard:
Meaghan Scanlon - Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs - firstname.lastname@example.org / Gaven@parliament.qld.gov.au - (07) 3719 7140
Steven Miles - Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning - email@example.com / Murrumba@parliament.qld.gov.au - (07) 3719 7100
Mayor Glen Hartwig - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0437 722 931
Cr Jess Milne - email@example.com - 0436 282 707
Cr Nadine Jensen - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0436 306 226
Cr Shane Waldock - email@example.com - 0436 344 857
Cr Bruce Devereaux - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0436 311 494
Cr Dan Stewart - email@example.com - 0499 081 404
Cr Hilary Smerdon - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0499 080 913
Cr Warren Polley - email@example.com - 0436 307 489
Cr Robert Fredman (Bob) - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0418 708 745
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