Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017


Queensland Crest
Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017

Part 1 Preliminary

1Short title

This plan may be cited as the Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017.

2Commencement

This plan commences on 1 September 2017.

3Relationship with declared management intent—Act, s 121

It is declared that section 121(2) of the Act does not apply to this plan.

4Main purposes of plan and how they are to be achieved

(1)The main purposes of this plan are—
(a)to promote the continued existence of viable koala populations in the wild; and
(b)to prevent the decline of koala habitats.
(2)The main purposes are to be achieved by—
(a)dividing the State into 3 koala districts based on the management strategies to be applied to each district; and
(b)prescribing the objective for each koala district; and
(c)enabling the chief executive to determine koala priority areas and koala habitat areas; and
(d)prescribing requirements for clearing vegetation in particular areas; and
(e)prescribing additional restrictions on the grant of particular wildlife authorities for koalas, including, in particular, the authorities authorising the release of koalas into the wild.

s 4 amd 2020 SL No. 9 s 14

5Interpretation

(1)The dictionary in schedule 2 defines particular words used in this plan.
(2)Subject to subsection (1), and unless this plan provides otherwise, words used in this plan have the same meaning as they have in the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006.
(3)To remove any doubt, it is declared that subsection (2) also applies to the following, as applied to the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006 under section 5 of that regulation—
(a)a definition under the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017;
(b)a provision of the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017 aiding the interpretation of words used in that regulation.

Part 2 Koala districts, koala priority areas and koala habitat areas

pt 2 hdg amd 2020 SL No. 9 s 15

Division 1 Koala districts

pt 2 div 1 hdg ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 16

6Koala districts

(1)Each of the following is a wildlife district for koalas—
(a)koala district A;
(b)koala district B;
(c)koala district C.
(2)For a koala district that includes a part of a local government area, a reference in schedule 1 to part of the local government area is a reference to the part of the local government area shown on the Koala Conservation Plan Map as part of the district.

s 6 amd 2020 SL No. 9 s 17

7Objective for koala district

The objective for each koala district is to ensure, having regard to the nature and extent of koala populations in the district, appropriate measures are taken to achieve the purposes of this plan mentioned in section 4(1), including measures that—
(a)monitor koala populations in the district and threats to the survival of koalas in the district; and
(b)monitor and review the effectiveness of conservation measures for koalas and koala habitats in the district; and
(c)provide education and management strategies to help manage threats to the survival of koala populations in the wild, including, for example, threats caused by dog attacks or vehicle strikes.

Division 2 Koala priority areas and koala habitat areas

pt 2 div 2 hdg ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 18

7AKoala priority areas

(1)The chief executive may determine that an area in a koala district is a koala priority area.
(2)The main purpose of determining that an area is a koala priority area is to strategically focus long-term management and monitoring effort on areas that have the highest likelihood of achieving conservation outcomes for koalas.

Note—

See also the Planning Regulation 2017 for provisions about development in a koala priority area.
(3)The chief executive may make a determination under subsection (1) in relation to an area if satisfied conservation efforts should be prioritised in the area to ensure the conservation of viable koala populations in the wild.
(4)In considering whether to make the determination, the chief executive must have regard to information that is reasonably available to the chief executive in relation to the combination of biophysical measures and suitability of vegetation in the area.

s 7A ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 18

7BKoala habitat areas

(1)The chief executive may determine that an area in a koala district is a koala habitat area.
(2)The main purpose of determining that an area is a koala habitat area is to avoid impacts on koala habitat to ensure the long-term persistence of koala populations in the wild.

Notes—

1For the imposition of an offset condition under the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 in relation to an impact on a koala habitat area, see that Act and the Environmental Offsets Regulation 2014, schedule 2.
2See also the Planning Regulation 2017 for provisions about development in a koala habitat area.
(3)The chief executive may make a determination under subsection (1) in relation to an area if satisfied—
(a)the area contains koala habitat; and
(b)the koala habitat is essential for the conservation of a viable koala population in the wild.
(4)In considering whether to make the determination, the chief executive must have regard to information that is reasonably available to the chief executive in relation to the combination of biophysical measures and suitability of vegetation in the area.

s 7B ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 18

7CRequests to make, amend or revoke determinations under s 7B

(1)An owner of land, or a person on the owner’s behalf, may ask the chief executive—
(a)to make a determination under section 7B in relation to the land; or
(b)to amend or revoke a determination made under section 7B in relation to the land.
(2)The request must—
(a)be in the approved form; and
(b)state the grounds on which the determination, amendment or revocation is sought.
(3)After considering the request, the chief executive must—
(a)decide to approve, refuse or partly approve and partly refuse the request; and
(b)give the person who made the request notice of the decision.
(4)To the extent the chief executive approves the request, the chief executive must—
(a)make, amend or revoke the determination under section 7B in accordance with the decision; and
(b)give the person who made the request a map of the land to which the request relates showing any part of the land that is a koala habitat area.
(5)To the extent the chief executive refuses the request, the notice given under subsection (3)(b) must be an information notice for the decision.
(6)In this section—
owner, of land, see the Vegetation Management Act 1999, schedule.

s 7C ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 18

Division 3 Koala Conservation Plan Map

pt 2 div 3 hdg ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 19

8Chief executive must prepare Koala Conservation Plan Map

(1)The chief executive must prepare a map (the Koala Conservation Plan Map) showing—
(a)each koala district; and
(b)each koala priority area; and
(c)each koala habitat area.
(2)The Koala Conservation Plan Map may consist of a series of maps, including, for example, a separate map for different parts of the State.
(3)If the chief executive makes, amends or revokes a determination under section 7A or 7B, whether or not on request under section 7C, the chief executive must amend the Koala Conservation Plan Map accordingly.

s 8 sub 2020 SL No. 9 s 20

9Koala Conservation Plan Map available for inspection

The chief executive must make a copy of the Koala Conservation Plan Map available for inspection by the public, free of charge—
(a)on the department’s website; and
(b)during office hours on business days at—
(i)the central office of the department; and
(ii)each regional office of the department.

Part 3 Clearing in particular areas

10Sequential clearing in koala district A or B

(1)A person clearing koala habitat trees in koala district A or koala district B must ensure the clearing is carried out in a way that complies with the sequential clearing conditions.

Maximum penalty—120 penalty units.

(2)This section applies in addition to any other requirement applying to the clearing under an Act.
(3)In this section—
sequential clearing conditions means all of the following conditions—
(a)clearing of the koala habitat trees is carried out in a way that ensures koalas on the area being cleared (the clearing site) have enough time to move out of the clearing site without human intervention, including, in particular, for clearing sites with an area of more than 3ha, by—
(i)carrying out the clearing in stages; and
(ii)ensuring not more than the following is cleared in any 1 stage—
(A)for a clearing site with an area of 6ha or less—50% of the site’s area;
(B)for a clearing site with an area of more than 6ha—3ha or 3% of the site’s area, whichever is the greater; and
(iii)ensuring that between each stage and the next there is at least 1 period of 12 hours starting at 6p.m. on a day and ending at 6a.m. on the following day during which no trees are cleared on the site;
(b)clearing of the koala habitat trees is carried out in a way that ensures, while the clearing is carried out, appropriate habitat links are maintained within the clearing site and between the site and its adjacent area, to allow koalas living on the site to move out of the site;
(c)no koala habitat tree in which a koala is present, and no koala habitat tree with a crown overlapping a tree in which a koala is present, is cleared.

11Koala spotter needed for clearing in koala habitat area

(1)This section applies to a person clearing, in a koala habitat area, koala habitat trees having a trunk of a diameter of more than 10cm at 1.3m above the ground.
(2)The person must ensure the clearing is carried out in the presence of a koala spotter who has the primary role of locating koalas in the trees for the person.

Maximum penalty—120 penalty units.

(3)This section applies in addition to any other requirement applying to the clearing under an Act.
(4)In this section—
koala spotter means a person who has qualifications and experience, or demonstrated skills and knowledge, in—
(a)locating koalas in koala habitats; or
(b)conducting arboreal fauna surveys.

s 11 amd 2020 SL No. 9 s 21

Part 4 Additional restrictions on grant for wildlife authorities for taking, using or keeping

12Relationship with regulations

The restrictions on the grant of a wildlife authority under this part are in addition to the restrictions applying to the grant of the authority under the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017 and the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006.

Note—

See the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017, sections 32 and 33 and the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006, chapter 2, part 1, and chapter 3, parts 3 to 5.

13General restriction on grant

The chief executive can not grant any of the following for koalas—
(a)a commercial wildlife licence;
(b)a recreational wildlife licence;
(c)a commercial wildlife harvesting licence;
(d)a recreational wildlife harvesting licence;
(e)a damage mitigation permit;
(f)a permit to keep wildlife.

s 13 amd 2020 SL No. 9 s 22

14Restriction on grant of wildlife authorities authorising release of koalas into wild

The chief executive can not grant a wildlife authority, other than a rehabilitation permit or a scientific purposes permit, authorising the holder of the authority, or a relevant person for the holder, to release into the wild a koala bred or kept in captivity.

Note—

For offences relating to the release of animals into the wild, see the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006, section 343.

15Restriction on grant of rehabilitation permit authorising release into wild

(1)The chief executive can not grant a rehabilitation permit authorising the holder of the permit, or a relevant person for the holder, to release a koala taken from the wild into a part of the wild that is not a prescribed natural habitat for the koala.
(2)The chief executive can not grant a rehabilitation permit authorising the holder of the permit, or a relevant person for the holder, to release into the wild a koala bred in captivity unless—
(a)the koala is the progeny of a koala taken from the wild; and
(b)the chief executive is reasonably satisfied the koala is capable of surviving in the wild.

Note—

For offences relating to the release of animals into the wild, see the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006, section 343.

16Restriction on grant of scientific purposes permit authorising release into wild

(1)The chief executive can not grant a scientific purposes permit authorising the holder of the permit, or a relevant person for the holder, to release into the wild a koala taken from the wild unless—
(a)the koala is to be released into a prescribed natural habitat for the koala; or
(b)the chief executive is reasonably satisfied the prescribed release conditions for the release of the koala are satisfied.
(2)The chief executive can not grant a scientific purposes permit authorising the holder of the permit, or a relevant person for the holder, to release into the wild a koala bred in captivity unless—
(a)the chief executive is reasonably satisfied the prescribed release conditions for the release of the koala are satisfied; or
(b)the chief executive is otherwise reasonably satisfied the koala is capable of surviving in the wild.
(3)In this section—
prescribed release conditions, for the release of a koala, means all of the following conditions—
(a)the koala is to be released into a koala habitat;
(b)research about the koala and the koala habitat shows the following—
(i)the release of the koala into the habitat will not adversely affect any species of wildlife in the habitat;
(ii)the genetic makeup of the koala is similar to the genetic makeup of koalas living in the habitat;
(c)the release of the koala into the habitat is a key component of the research project for which the application for the permit, under which the koala is to be released, is made;
(d)the research project provides for the recapture of the koala if the chief executive requires the recapture.

Part 5 Transitional provisions

Division 1 Transitional provisions for SL No. 152 of 2017

pt 5 div 1 hdg ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 23

17State map taken to be Koala Conservation Plan Map

(1)This section applies to the State map—
(a)prepared under section 10 of the expired conservation plan; and
(b)in existence immediately before the commencement.
(2)The State map is taken to be the Koala Conservation Plan Map.

18References to expired conservation plan

(1)In a document, a reference to the expired conservation plan may, if the context permits, be taken to be a reference to this plan.
(2)Subsection (1) does not limit the application of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954, section 14H.

19Effect of division

This division stops having effect on 7 February 2020.

s 19 ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 24

Division 2 Transitional provisions for Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation 2020

pt 5 div 2 hdg ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 25

20Koala Conservation Plan Map

On the commencement, the map called ‘Koala Conservation Plan Map’, made by the chief executive on 17 January 2020 and published on the department’s website, is taken to be the Koala Conservation Plan Map.

s 20 ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 25

21Koala priority areas and koala habitat areas

On the commencement—
(a)the chief executive is taken to have determined, under section 7A, that an area in a koala district shown on the Koala Conservation Plan Map as a koala priority area is a koala priority area; and
(b)the chief executive is taken to have determined, under section 7B, that an area in a koala district shown on the Koala Conservation Plan Map as a koala habitat area is a koala habitat area.

s 21 ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 25

Schedule 1 Koala districts

schedule 2, definitions koala district A, koala district B and koala district C

1Koala district A

Koala district A is the SEQ region under the Planning Regulation 2017.

Note—

See also the Planning Regulation 2017, section 4 and schedule 1.

sch 1 s 1 sub 2020 SL No. 9 s 26(1)

2Koala district B

Koala district B consists of the following local government areas—
Bundaberg, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, part of Gladstone, Gympie, part of North Burnett, part of South Burnett, part of Toowoomba

3Koala district C

Koala district C consists of the following local government areas—
Balonne, Banana, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Burdekin, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Central Highlands, Charters Towers, Etheridge, Flinders, part of Gladstone, Hinchinbrook Shire, Isaac, Longreach, Mackay, Maranoa, Mareeba, Murweh, part of North Burnett, Paroo, Quilpie, Rockhampton, part of South Burnett, Tablelands, part of Toowoomba, Townsville, Western Downs, Whitsunday, Woorabinda

sch 1 s 3 amd 2020 SL No. 9 s 26(2)–(5)

Schedule 2 Dictionary

section 5(1)

clear, for vegetation, see the Vegetation Management Act 1999, schedule.
koala
(a)means a mammal of the species Phascolarctos cinereus; and
(b)includes the reproductive material of a mammal mentioned in paragraph (a).
Koala Conservation Plan Map see section 8.
koala district means—
(a)koala district A; or
(b)koala district B; or
(c)koala district C.
koala district A means the district described in schedule 1, section 1.
koala district B means the district described in schedule 1, section 2.
koala district C means the district described in schedule 1, section 3.
koala habitat means—
(a)an area of vegetation in which koalas live and that includes a koala habitat tree; or
(b)an area of vegetation that consists primarily of koala habitat trees and which is reasonably suitable for sustaining koalas; or
(c)a partially or completely cleared area used by koalas to cross from an area mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) to another area mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

sch 2 def koala habitat sub 2020 SL No. 9 s 27

koala habitat area see section 7B(1).

sch 2 def koala habitat area sub 2020 SL No. 9 s 27

koala habitat tree means—
(a)a tree of the Corymbia, Melaleuca, Lophostemon or Eucalyptus genera that is edible by koalas; or
(b)a tree of a type typically used by koalas for shelter, including, for example, a tree of the Angophora genus.

sch 2 def koala habitat tree sub 2020 SL No. 9 s 27

koala priority area see section 7A(1).

sch 2 def koala priority area ins 2020 SL No. 9 s 27(2)

prescribed natural habitat means—
(a)for a koala taken from the wild, or a koala the progeny of a koala taken from the wild—
(i)the area within 1km from where the koala was taken if at least part of the area is koala habitat; or
(ii)otherwise—any koala habitat within 5km from where the koala was taken; or
(b)for another koala—a koala habitat, research into which shows the following—
(i)the release of the koala into the habitat will not adversely affect any species of wildlife in the habitat;
(ii)the genetic makeup of the koala is similar to the genetic makeup of koalas living in the habitat.
this plan means this conservation plan.