Koala plan open to the public
LISMORE City Council's draft Koala Plan of Management for south east Lismore will now go on public exhibition following a failed rescission motion last week.
Crs Graham Meineke, Neil Marks and John Chant put up the motion following the November meeting of council asking that the draft plan be referred back to the steering committee to "ground truth", rectify mapping and discuss protection measures for landowners who dedicate sections of their property as koala habitat.
Cr Meineke also complained that he knew two members of the stakeholder reference group who did not approve key elements of the plan.
Following notice of the motion last month, the stakeholder group was reconvened to discuss the issues, though it was acknowledged that the group was not a decision-making body, nor was it required to achieve consensus.
Staff clarified most of the issues, explaining that perceptions that landowners and developers would have to dedicate sections of their land to the council were wrong as alternate protection measures were available.
A frustrated Cr Vanessa Ekins feared the motion was a stalling tactic by detractors hoping to get a more sympathetic council after the next council election.
"The reference group has been looking at this for months and now we need to know what the community thinks," she said.
Cr Simon Clough implored councillors to "get on with it" explaining the plan provided security and clarity for developers.