SUBMISSIONS CLOSING SOON regarding Koala Management Areas.
Your responses are due Tuesday 5pm, 15 March 2016.
I know many people have been in discussion regarding the matter and many may have made a submission already.
If you need some assistance, please consider the following.
The process does not need to be complex.
It can be as simple as you want, however:
For your submission to be considered it must:
· Be received by Redland City Council by 5pm, 15 March 2016.
· Provide the grounds on which you are making your submission (that is, whether you agree or disagree with the amendment).
· Provide reasons and facts to support the grounds of your submission.
If you wish to make a formal submission, RCC ask that you provide your personal details
If you want more information about all the details & how to make a submission online,
Click Here: https://yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/koala-mapping
Further Information for your reference:
Below, I have included a list of questions that may be of relevance to your application. These questions came after initial discussions with residents then two public meetings.
After asking all the following questions, I received this response from RCC Officers:
'As we are in caretaker mode and this matter is currently in a feedback period, please encourage concerned members of your community to provide a submission, as officers time can no longer be redirected to provide specific answers to further questions.
'Council is actively seeking the views and opinions of the community through its public consultation process, and encourage residents to lodge a formal submission by 15 March 2016. Council’s submission process does not include provision of responses to submitters’ questions. All submissions will be considered and a final report presented to Council for review prior to possible adoption.
So here are all the questions I was able to ask.
I hope it is of assistance to those who have not yet made an application.
Please do not hesitate to call if I can offer any assistance.
QUESTIONS FROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS:
1. What were the details of the outcomes in order to review the Koala Areas for the proposed amendments to the Animal Management Law?
Officer Response: The matter was addressed in two reports provided to Council on 28 January 2015, and 22 April 2015. Please refer to the below:
Item 11.2.2 Making of Local Laws general meeting minutes and submissions report (round 2 consultation) of 22 April 2015.
Item 11.2.1 Local Laws Consultation general meeting minutes and submissions report (round 1 consultation) of 28 January 2015.
1a) What is RCC’s definition of a ‘Den’?
Please refer to Schedule 4A below. There are three options for keeping a dog on a lot greater than 2000m2 in a koala area.
Refer to (1)(c) for the requirements and examples of an enclosure (den) between sunset and sunrise.
Or residents can tether their dogs between sunset and sunrise (1)(b)
Or residents can construct and maintain an enclosure not more than 2000m2 and ensure the dog is kept in the koala enclosure at all times. Eg. if a person owns a fenced lot of 3000m2 in a koala area and keeps a dog, one option is to build an enclosure not more than 2000m2 to house the dog at all times.
The koala area enclosure referred to at (1)(a) should meet the requirements for proper enclosures set out in Schedule 4 of SLL2. Proper enclosures apply to any animal in the City. Koala areas have further requirements in relation to size of the enclosure as above.
1b Would an electric fence within 5 mtr of your house be an acceptable enclosure?
Please see the provisions for proper enclosure and the definition of ‘suitably fenced’ in Schedule 4 of Subordinate Local Law No.2 (Animal Management) 2015.
2. How many public submissions were received of the new local laws adopted last April in order for the Koala Areas to be reviewed and the proposed amendments to the Animal Management Law to be considered?
Officer Response: Please refer to the response to question 1.
3. From the public submissions received from item 2 above, what was the break down of the submissions per suburb and the breakdown of submissions per size of land?
Officer Response: To extract this data, specifically breakdown of submissions per size of land, is a manual process using numerous data systems and is unable to be completed prior to the Councillor’s meeting. All submissions are considered by Council based on their individual merit.
4. How was the data collected in order for St James’ Park to be included in the Koala Corridor? Was there an independent body (i.e. not general public volunteers) that was enlisted to carry out the Koala count/collection of data?
Officer Response: Reported dog attack data was sourced from Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (Moggill Hospital) records. Registered dog data was sourced from Council’s own Property and Rating system.
5. Will residents within the St James’ Park area be compensated for theft, damage to property, and graffiti, as well as a lift in Home/Contents Insurance Premiums, if the area is then known publically as a “Dog Free” zone?
Officer Response: Local law provisions for designated koala areas describe the requirements relating to koala protection for the keeping of a dog on properties greater than 2000m2, and do not preclude dog ownership.
6. What further infrastructure will be put in place by the council if this Law is passed? For example, signs, barriers around power polls, converting overhead power lines to underground infrastructure, Koala designated crossings, etc.
Officer Response: It is noted that local law provisions establishing Koala areas in the Redlands have been in place since 2006. Council has a number of programs aimed at encouraging koala conservation and the restoration of koala habitat. These include the:
Retrofitting Council infrastructure to be more koala friendly and to promote safe koala movement;
Responding to community requests for installation of signage to alert motorists to koala movement areas;
Implementing extension programs including the Koala Conservation Agreement Program, Land for Wildlife Program, Voluntary Conservation Agreement Program and Your Back Yard Garden program which encourage private landholders to protect and restore koala habitat with Council assistance;
Facilitating the activities of community Bushcare Groups to undertake habitat restoration and rehabilitation works on public lands;
Acquiring koala habitat land for conservation and protection of its habitat value through the conservation acquisition program; and
Facilitating koala habitat plantings at key sites across the Redlands.
Council also works with research organisations and members of the community to assist in koala research and education.
7. How will the new Law be policed if passed?
Officer Response: Regulatory enforcement action will be triggered by customer requests/complaints.
8. Is the new Law, if passed, only applicable to dogs or will domestics and feral cats be included? If only dogs, why are domestic and feral cats not included? Domestic and Feral cats are well-known to be the most destructive to our native animals.
Officer Response: The proposed amendment applies to dogs in koala areas. Minimum standards for the keeping of a cat can be found in Council’s Animal Management local law, and no local law amendments related to cats are planned. Under its pest management plan Council has a feral animal control plan which includes measures to reduce the number of feral cats, foxes and dogs across the City. It should be noted that koalas are not considered to be vulnerable to attack from cats (domestic or feral).
9. On 09 April 2015, Cr Williams made a statement that the Koala Habitat Review and Mapping Project had identified 10,000 hectares of land across the Redlands suitable for Koala habitat. Reviewing the data available, there is a significant amount of quality koala habitat which does not form part of the Koala Area Mapping. Areas of Cleveland and Birkdale (other side of Rickertt Rd) most notably. These areas also do not fall under the proposed amendment as the properties are not over 2000m2. Interestingly, St James Park contains some marginal and some highly suitable habitat mainly along the Tingalpa Creek Corridor. None within the estate itself (Figure 3.5 - Koala Habitat Assessment Results). Why target properties over 2000m2 and not properties regardless of size which have been identified as having suitable koala habitat?
Officer Response: Response to come.
10. Information contained on the Indigiscapes webiste (http://indigiscapes.redland.qld.gov.au/animals/koalas/Pages/default.aspx) encourages dog owners to confine/restrain dogs at night. The website also says that 'Our koalas will be moving throughout the Redlands so please be alert for their movements even in CBD areas, most notably, Cleveland.' Why then only target properties over 2000m2?
Officer Response: Refer to the response to question 9.
11. In addition, the Koala Action Group (KAG), as part of the koala count-athon in Oct 14, had most koalas sightings in the Ormiston/Cleveland area. Were these areas part of the current koala mapping area? If not, do they now fall under the proposed amendment? If not, why not?
Officer Response: Please refer to the submissions report, page 11 contained in item 11.2.2 , as referenced in question 1.
12. The KAG also expressed concerns about the proposed Toondah Development stating 'Disturbingly, numerous sightings were reported from areas earmarked for future development including the Toondah Harbour precinct at Cleveland.' What is RCC intending to do with the koalas located in this area? Noting that moving koalas may, potentially, over-populate another area and cause in-breeding which then leads to health issues among other things.
Officer Response: The relocation of koalas within the City is unrelated to local laws and the current local law consultation.
13. Data collected as part of the Koala Habitat Review and Mapping Project (http://www.redland.qld.gov.au/EnvironmentWaste/EnvironmentPlans/Documents/KOALA-HABITAT-REVIEW-AND-MAPPING-V.2-2014.pdf)highlights 1 perhaps 2 dog attacks between 1997 and 2012 in the SJP area (as per the map located on page 17). The data doesn't elaborate if the attack happened on private land or council land ie dog off leash etc; whether it was a domestic dog attack or fox - does RCC have this information?
Officer Response: The data that Council uses to determine dog attacks is obtained from the Queensland State Government records. The State’s records come from people who report koala issues (eg sickness, injury, death etc). These records do not provide the level of detail sought in this question.
14. Predative wild dogs like dingoes and foxes are also responsible for koala kills. What does the council propose to do about these?
Officer Response: The killing of koalas by feral animals cannot be regulated by local law. However, under Council’s pest management plan there are provisions relating to feral animal control plan which includes measures to reduce the number of feral dogs and dingos across the City.
15. Cheyne Flannigan from the Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie (Koala Research Collaboration Project, Oct 14) has observed that most koala kills are done by Staffordshire bull terriers, blue heelers and German Shephards. These types of dogs are kept on blocks much smaller than 2000m2 across the Redlands. Due to the Redland City Council's poor urban planning, current koala habitat is fragmented and, therefore, koalas are moving across a number of areas in the Redlands, not just the identified koala mapping area. koalas cannot differentiate a 1000m2 block and a 2000m2 and, therefore, could stray into any size yard. Based on this, why impose the law on just blocks over 2000m2 and not on all dog owners?
Officer Response: Refer to the response to question 9.
Other questions posed by residents:
16. Define 'acceptable enclosure' - What is the den/enclosure specifics - size, materials for construction
Officer Response: A ‘proper enclosure’ is defined in Schedule 4 of Subordinate Local Law No.2 (Animal Management) 2015 and is available in Item 11.2.2 as referenced in question 1.
17. What hours would be imposed?
Officer Response: If denning or tethering a dog, ‘between sunset and sunrise’ as found in Schedule 4A of Subordinate Local Law No.2 (Animal Management) 2015.
18. Would an electric fence within 5 mtr of your house be an acceptable enclosure?
Officer Response: Please see the provisions for proper enclosure and the definition of ‘suitably fenced’ in Schedule 4 of Subordinate Local Law No.2 (Animal Management) 2015.
19. How many current redland city residents live on 2000m2 and reside in a koala habitat?
Officer Response: For clarification, this question has been interpreted as the number of residential lots greater than 2000m2 in a koala area (rather than ‘koala habitat’). There are 1873 residential properties currently affected by koala area local law provisions ie. where a dog is kept (1837 at 100 % and 36 only partially due to koala area and lot boundary intersections).
20. More koalas are killed by vehicles than by dog attacks. What has the RCC done (in line with the Redlands Koala Policy and Implementation Strategy 2008) to minimise the impact vehicles have on the koala population? Once again, this is linked to poor urban planning and fragmented koala habitat.
Officer Response: Council has identified opportunities to better manage koala movement by establishing physical barriers in some locations to dissuade koalas from moving through some corridors, and removing physical barriers to koala movements in other areas. Council also works with community members and private landholders to establish/rehabilitate koala habitats on public and private lands that will facilitate improved movement by koalas across the landscape. Please refer to the answer to question 6 for more information on this matter.
21. Will there be any briefing events for community on this issue?
There are no planned briefing events for the community regarding the koala area local law amendment.
22. Would an officer be able to attend?’ and if not, could we schedule a meeting that I could invite a spokesperson to confer with officers before Feb 24th Public Meeting?
Unfortunately an officer will not be able to attend but I trust you will find the information in this email satisfactory.
23. We are concerned that the suggested amendment may make it considerably more costly to sub divide our 4200 sqm block in the future.
This area already has a koala overlay penalty when developing now.
How would these amendments effect future development?
There is no relationship between the proposed local law amendment to add new ‘koala areas’ and the ‘koala overlay’.
The koala area local law amendment relates to requirements for keeping a dog in a designated koala area on a lot greater than 2000m2. There are no fees and charges or development implications per se with regard to the proposed amendment.
The Habitat Protection Overlay per Redlands Planning Scheme (Version 7) or the Environmental Significance Overlay proposed in the Draft City Plan 2015 may impact any future development proposal.
Please contact a Council planner for advice on your property which will include individual factors such as zoning, subdivision lot size and incidence of koala habitat trees on site.
24. Will there be any briefing events for community on this issue?
There are no planned briefing events for the community regarding the koala area local law amendment.
25. Does the same law apply to dog owners in Koala Management Areas?
‘Koala management area’ is a term used previously for ‘koala area’ (Animal Management local law 2007) – the provisions in the current law are essentially the same as previous.
26. How many of the 1873 affected properties have dogs?
Please note there has been a revision in the number of affected properties to 1846, as the data was initially calculated based on land parcel, rather than property number.
Therefore the number of residential properties with a registered dog is 778 out of 1846. The total count of registered dogs is 1059.
27. Do residents have to make fences ‘Koala Proof?’
Yes, every dog owner (irrespective of whether they are located in a koala area) must provide and maintain on any part of the premises which is accessible by the dog, structures or facilities which facilitate the escape of koalas (SLL2 Sch3 Item 1).
28. Has the same law been applied elsewhere? & Is there evidence to prove it has proved successful?
No, Redlands is the only Council in Qld to apply koala area provisions.