BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 13.14 - Attachment 2

 

BSC File No: †#E2015/20646

 

31 March 2015

 

 

 

 

Mr Steve Murray

Department of Planning and Environment

 

Email only: Steve.Murray@planning.nsw.gov.au

steve.jensen@planning.nsw.gov.au

 

Dear Steve,

 

Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management

Further to previous correspondence regarding the draft Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPoM), Byron Council is seeking clarification from the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) in regard to the Departmentís position on Comprehensive Koala Plans of Management prepared under State Environmental Planning Policy 44 (SEPP44).

 

Byron Councilís draft CKPoM has been prepared over 3 years in consultation with a Project Reference Group which included representatives from DP&E and Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

 

The Byron CKPOM has been through a public exhibition process and been amended to respond to public submissions, as well as comments from DP&E and OEH. In additional a meeting was held between DP&E staff and Council staff on 13 May 2014 to discuss comments from the DP&E on the exhibited draft. In response to issues raised by DP&E at this meeting amendments were made to the draft CKPOM to ensure the DP&E were satisfied (at that time) that the plan was compliant with SEPP44.†

 

Following public exhibition Council resolved to receive legal advice on a range of issues including the draft CKPOMís compliance with SEPP44. The legal advice Byron Council received was sent via email to DP&E Grafton office on 5 December 2014 and meeting was requested by Council to discuss the implications of this advice on the finalisation of the draft Byron CKPOM. The requested meeting was not arranged as it was understood DP&E were seeking their own advice on the issue and were waiting receipt of this advice before meeting with Council. Additional discussions occurred at a meeting between senior staff including myself from Byron Council and DP&E staff on 13 March 2015. At this meeting some discussion about the CKPoM of the legal advice was had, but no clear decision or direction on the form or content of the CKPOM was given.

 

In the absence of a final opinion from DP&E, as the approving authority, it is problematic to establish a way forward and gain support of all Councillors to ensure the aims of SEPP44 are realised.

 

As Council is keen to finalise the CKPoM and have in place suitable measures to protect koala habitat, we as soon as possible seek written clarity from DP&E on their position in regard to the draft Byron CKPoM (attached).

 

In the meantime should you wish to discuss this matter further contact me directly on 02 66 267062.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Shannon Burt

Director Sustainable Environment and Economy