The RLS: Not as done and dusted as we are led to believe

Contrary to some interesting statements being made in regards to the RLS being all but signed off it appears from the report going to Council next Tuesday August 13th, 2019 that there will be a call for a draft DCP to the circulated for public comment as part of the Council’s phased implementation of the RLS, and indicates this has arisen following communications with NSW Planning Minister Stokes’ office, as indicated in the following extract : Since sending the planning proposal to the Department, Council staff have been liaising with government agency representatives to assist in addressing revised agency submissions regarding the amendment to ELEP 2012 (rural lands).  The revised submissions from RFS and Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) have resulted in the objection to the removal of some objections to the planning proposal, with only a few site-specific areas remaining an issue and to be addressed in the DCP.

On Friday 28 June 2019, Council staff had a teleconference with the Department and representatives of the Minister’s office (Minister).  It was advised that the Department was willing to progress and recommend the amendment to Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan (ELEP) 2012 to the Minister, on the basis that the commencement of the ELEP 2012 would be deferred until the end of September to enable the DCP to include the biodiversity overlay and address the remaining concerns of RFS.  

The draft DCP will be advertised and placed on public exhibition for 28 days from Council’s endorsement giving the community time once again to examine this material in more detail to assess the full implications of any revisions. The report to Council next week states that the draft DCP "incorporates flood, biodiversity and bushfire protection provisions to ensure development undertaken incorporates the most up-to-date information and mitigates any potential risk or environmental damage." Of interest will be the result of Councillor McGinlay's Notice of Motion on Climate Change that Council acknowledges and consequently declares that we are living in a time of climate emergency that requires focussed and strategic actions at the local government level, for the benefit of our whole community, in both the immediate and longer term. His Notice of Motion, should it be successfully endorsed will require of Council that all future or revised existing plans, strategies and substantive initiatives related to any and all Council business and responsibilities, include and provide the following: Evidence of a consideration and an initial assessment of the potential impact on climate change in the broad sense and particularly environmental, economic and social impacts on our Shire and its community to ensure there are no gaps in our knowledge of activities that could have climate change implications.

Above: The veil lifts on the RLS: With Council adamant that no changes would be required to the RLS and it would be approved as soon as the new State Government were voted back in the community has taken heart that Planning Minister Stokes has recognised concerns voiced by agencies and members of the Eurobodalla community that were too readily dismissed by most Councillors and Council Planning staff.

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