Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes has called on the NSW Government to remove the biodiversity constraints which she says are causing unnecessary delays, costs and stress on people trying to rebuild after the Black Summer bushfires.
“For months now, councils in the southeast have been asking the NSW Government to switch off biodiversity requirements for bushfire-affected properties,” said Mayor Innes.
“Asking people to jump through hoops on blocks of land that are effectively cleared is absurd.”
Mayor Innes said many homes lost in the bushfires were built before current biodiversity and bushfire management standards were introduced.
“All that these people want to do is re-establish what they’ve lost,” she said.
There may be as many as 277 bushfire-affected property owners who will need assessments under the Biodiversity Conservation Act in the Eurobodalla in order to comply with current bushfire management standards.
“Given their houses already existed in these locations, surely the NSW Government can amend the legislation to allow homeowners to rebuild in a way that’s safer and more resilient, but also compliant,” said Mayor Innes.
She added that turning off the biodiversity constraints will save impacted residents significant time and tens of thousands of dollars.
“Nine southeast NSW councils, including Eurobodalla, have been advocating since January for the biodiversity legislation to be switched off for our bushfire-affected communities,” said Mayor Innes.
“While we continue to hear positive noises from the NSW Government, we’re yet to see any changes that will fix the problem.
“I’m calling on the state government to sort it out. Stop playing bureaucratic games with people who’ve already been through enough.
“Helping these people will have no negative impact on our environment, but it will have a massive positive impact on those in our communities trying to recover from the fires.”