State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019 (‘Koala SEPP’) commenced on 1 March 2020. On 7 October 2020, the NSW Government announced amendments to the Koala SEPP in order to balance the decline of the Koala in NSW with the rights of farmers and landholders. The Koala SEPP replaces the former SEPP 44 – Koala Habitat Protection (now repealed) and only applies to development applications considered by relevant councils on land over one hectare in size or on land included in an approved council Koala Plan of Management.
The Policy is supported by the Koala Habitat Protection Guideline, (DPIE, October 2020) which defines criteria and requirements for applicants to follow and councils to implement when preparing and assessing development applications (if a council does not have a Koala Plan of Management in place for that land) and sets out the process for identifying core Koala habitat.
The Koala SEPP does not apply to activities which do not require development consent from council, for instance, erecting fences, building sheds, and other usual farming practices.
If you have a project involving Koala Habitat issues please contact us for assistance.