Tree clearing rules proposed in the Draft City Plan would allow unprecedented environmental harm in the Redlands.
The proposed City Plan rules would protect trees less effectively than the current Redland City Planning Scheme and local laws.
Brisbane City Council does not have tree clearing exemptions/allowances in their City Plan. They have a tight, prescriptive local law that works alongside their City Plan to provide the most effective means of vegetation protection.
Redlands’ natural environment is special and deserves at least an equivalent level of protection as Brisbane City Council. Therefore, Redland City Council’s Local Law 6 – Protection of Vegetation needs to remain the primary mechanism for tree protection and work alongside the City Plan.
This table highlights how poor Redland City Council’s proposed tree protection measures are when compared to Brisbane City Council.
|Draft Redland City Plan 2015||Brisbane City Council – City Plan 2014|
|Vegetation protection laws||The City Plan will become the mechanism for vegetation protection – Local Law 6, Protection of Vegetation will become obsolete.||They have a Natural Assets Local Law that works alongside the City Plan to provide a high level of vegetation protection.|
|Tree protection in urban footprint area||No tree protection at all on properties less than 2000m2 (1/2 acre) zoned Low Density Residential – this is most of the urban area.||The Natural Assets Local Law protects all mapped native vegetation.|
|Tree clearing allowances/exemptions||Tree clearing up to:
• 2500m2 (over ½ acre) in the Rural Zone, or
• 500m2 on the larger properties in the urban footprint (on blocks over ½ acre)
is exempt/allowable – no Council approval is required.
These exemptions mean Council has no input on where and how the clearing occurs.
|There are no blanket tree clearing allowances/exemptions in the City Plan.
The Natural Assets Local Law has tight, prescriptive exemptions for circumstances such as removal of trees within 3 metres of an approved building.
|Acreages and farms outside the urban footprint||All private properties are simplistically zoned Rural. The main purpose of this zone is to allow for primary production activities and offers little protection of the natural environment.
No council approval is needed for cropping, animal husbandry, animal keeping (except kennels/catteries) and up to 2 dwellings in the Rural Zone.
This is likely to impact on the lifestyle and biodiversity of small acreage communities.
|Acreages in areas like Chandler are zoned Environmental Management and/or Conservation to protect the biodiversity values and to retain the small acreage lifestyle.
Rural farmland areas are zoned Rural to allow primary production activities.
|Significant tree protection||There are seven tree listings on the Heritage Schedule.||A Significant Landscape Tree Overlay maps and protects hundreds of trees. These are in addition to trees protected by Vegetation Protection Orders.|
Clearing exemptions/allowances may be suitable for areas like western Queensland, but they are not suitable for Redlands, an area of high biodiversity, declining koala population and development pressures.
Make a submission about tree clearing
Anyone concerned about conserving some of the Redlands’ natural environment should make a submission about this issue to the Draft City Plan.
A submission should say something like:
Please change the Draft City Plan so that:
- The provisions which allow unlimited tree clearing on urban blocks less than 2,000m2 should be removed.
- The provisions which allow clearing of up to 500m2 on blocks over ½ acre (2000m2) in the urban footprint should be removed.
- The provisions which allow unlimited clearing of up to 2,500m2 on rural properties should be removed.
- The current Local Law 6 – Protection of Vegetation must be strengthened and integrated into the new City Plan.
The closing date for submissions is 27 November 2015.
Advice on how to make a submission is available here.
More about tree clearing and City Plan
Redlands2030 – 18 November 2015
Updated 19 November 2015 with inclusion of additional dot point for submissions:
The provisions which allow clearing of up to 500m2 on blocks over ½ acre (2000m2) in the urban footprint should be removed.