Gympie council CEO Shane Gray says there have been misconceptions about the council’s controversial repeal of two planning laws, and it is now seeking nominations for a new reference group to discuss how the region’s environment will be protected in the future.
Gympie council CEO Shane Gray says there have been misconceptions about the council’s controversial repeal of two planning laws, and it is now seeking nominations for a new reference group to discuss how the region’s environment will be protected in the future.

'Misconception': CEO says repeal not about developers first

ENVIRONMENTAL groups, farmers developers and business leaders who want to shape Gympie Regional Council's future biodiversity laws are being asked to throw their name into the ring for a new reference group.

The council is forming the group following its controversial repeal of two temporary planning tools adopted by the pervious council.

The repeal was met with significant outcry, sparking protests and an online petition which has attracted more than 27,000 signatures.

Protesters outside Gympie town hall
Protesters outside Gympie town hall

Councillors removed the laws, introduced in February before the election, amid concerns they unintended impacts on development.

The establishment of the new committee was part of the resolution adopted by the council when overturned the Temporary Local Planning Instruments.

CEO Shane Gray said there has been misconceptions over the decision.

"Although the removal of the TLPI was perceived as placing future development as a higher priority than the environment, this is not the case," Mr Gray said.

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Councillors were told the TLPIs, including this one for biodiversity, had caused unintended consequences that were impacting development across the region.
Councillors were told the TLPIs, including this one for biodiversity, had caused unintended consequences that were impacting development across the region.

"Council have a very clear and strong position to manage the balance of biodiversity and development, however we need to ensure council achieves an outcome that is a balance between environmental protection and future development that is in the best interest for the community and the region.

"The TLPI wasn't the right mechanism to do this, however this is an area of importance and we're asking community groups, experts and the wider community to help inform and implement the right process that allows both growth and the protection of our environment."

The council is seeking nominations from all corners of the community, including koala groups, land care volunteers, community, farmers and graziers, fauna and flora specialists, private planners, developers, builders and businesses.

The council is seeking input from all corners of the community including koala protection groups.
The council is seeking input from all corners of the community including koala protection groups.

One nominee will be taken from each group.

"Our region is known for our beautiful environment and we don't want to lose this," Mr Gray said.

"We also need to ensure that we have the ability to grow and develop in a sustainable way. "This reference group will play a vital role in our future planning." Shane Gray explained.

For more information or to apply or lodge your interest head to the council's website.

Applications close January 29, 2021.

Gympie Times


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