Blackburn forum - help protect your local habitat
- VCAT has enabled clearing in about 70% of cases refered to it.
- The fundamental 3 step approach (avoid first, minimise second and offset only as a last resort) has been diluted severely by excessive focus on step 3.
- Only 3.5% of application have been refused (despite most being of H or VH conservation significance)
- DSE First approximation report (2009) concluded a loss of 9900 habitat hectare per year (mainly private land) and a gain of 5000+ habitat hectare per year (mainly on public land)
- Only 25% – 30% of applications seen by DSE. This suggest some 4500 – 6000 permit applications across Victoria per year
- Changing the NV management goal from “net gain” to “no net loss”
- Seeing native vegetation retention only as an issue of biodiversity
- Use of “Nature Print” method ok for strategic/landscape priroty setting but is not designed to evaluate individual sites
- Offsets: much “fuzziness”; need to have localised offsetting; worry that a primary goal of the system is to build and “offsets” market.
- How to get a whole of government approach.
VNPA/EDO discussions indicate that there is likely to be another round of consultation, but expect that the intentions may well be set by then with specification of proposed planning ammendments
The EDO are proposing a seminar on offsetting late in February
A suggestion was made at the meeting that groups with strong interest in NV retention could combine to produce an alternative consultation document to counterpoint the current documents.