Switch off biodiversity to allow bushfire rebuilds: Mayor

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes is calling on the NSW Government to remove the biodiversity constraints causing unnecessary delays, cost and stress on those rebuilding after the bushfires.

"For months now, councils in the south-east have been asking the NSW Government to switch off biodiversity requirements for bushfire-affected properties," Cr Innes said.

Eurobodalla Shire mayor Liz Innes.

Eurobodalla Shire mayor Liz Innes.

"Asking people to jump through hoops on blocks of land that are effectively cleared is absurd."

The Eurobodalla Shire Council said up to 277 shire property owners will need to undertake expensive assessments under the Biodiversity Conservation Act before they can rebuild, the only way to achieve the clearing required to comply with current bushfire management standards.

Cr Innes said many homes lost in the bushfires were constructed before current biodiversity and bushfire management standards were introduced: "All these people want to do is re-establish what they've lost."

"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."

Cr Innes says turning off the biodiversity constraints will save impacted residents significant time and tens of thousands of dollars.

"Nine south-east NSW councils including Eurobodalla have been advocating since January for the biodiversity legislation to be switched off for our bushfire-affected communities," she said.

"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."

This story Switch off biodiversity to allow bushfire rebuilds: Mayor first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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