About the Southern Brown Bandicoot
The Southern Brown Bandicoot (SBB) is an endangered marsupial under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and is also protected by the Victorian Government Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act).
We engaged Ecology Australia to help develop an overlay to protect and enhance the SBB’s habitat.
Cardinia Shire is home to a large SBB population in the former Koo Wee Rup Swamp area which comprises four smaller sub-populations in Dalmore-Koo Wee Rup, Bayles, Cardinia-Rythdale, and Garfield-Longwarry.
The SBB live in thick vegetation including native vegetation, exotic long grass and prickly dense weeds (including blackberries). This habitat protects them from predators such as cats and foxes.
Threats to the SBB include:
- being eaten
- being hit by cars
- loss of habitat and corridor fragmentation (through the clearing of native and exotic vegetation)
- new urban infrastructure such as solid fences blocking their movements between habitat areas.
Recent developments in the townships of Bunyip, Garfield and Tynong have resulted in inconsistent planning permit requirements and outcomes to protect the SBB.
A number of developers have cleared all Bandicoot habitat on a site by site basis, therefore creating gaps in the SBB movement corridors.
The current ad hoc pattern of subdivisions has led to some properties having no or inadequate provision of habitat for the species, while other properties have variable width corridors and inconsistent management requirements.
Without a holistic approach to create and preserve SBB habitat, they are likely to become extinct locally.
About Amendment C229
Amendment C229 seeks to:
- insert a new Schedule 7 to Clause 42.01 Environmental Significance Overlay.
- amend the Schedule to Clause 66.04 - Referral of Permit Applications Under Local Provisions, to include the Secretary to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) as a recommending referral authority under the ESO7.
- amends Planning Scheme Map No.s 20-24ESO.
The following revisions to the overlay and mapping are proposed.
Changes to the wording in the overlay:
- Changes to the wording in relation to the habitat corridors to make the wording consistent throughout the overlay, and with the background report.
- Clarification in relation to the environmental objective to be achieved in terms of planting within the front setback to provide a linear corridor
- Reordering of points under the permit requirements to provide the permit requirements first, followed by exemptions, to make it clearer.
- Changes to Table 1 to clarify what is being sort and nominated distances from front and side setbacks in all zones.
- Revisions to vegetation removal to make it clearer
- Some additional requirements in application requirements and decision guidelines to require consideration of ongoing vegetation coverage where vegetation is being removed.
- Reduce the extent of application of the overlay to only apply to properties adjacent to the key habitat links.
Schedule 7 to the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO7) applies to land along designated key habitat links within the townships of Tynong, Garfield and Bunyip.
The amendment mainly affects new developments and subdivisions in the three townships.
At the Council meeting on 16 October 2017, Council resolved to seek authorisation to prepare Amendment C229.
Amendment C229 was on exhibition from 4 October 2018 to 7 November 2018.
The amendment proposed to apply the Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 7 to all land in Tynong, Garfield and Bunyip in order to help protect the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot.
A number of submissions were received in relation to the overlay, and Council heard the concerns and in response, reviewed the extent of the application of the overlay as well as the proposed wording.
The work still seeks to protect and enhance habitat for the Southern Brown Bandicoot by applying Schedule 7 to the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO7), however, it is proposed to reduce the extent of the overlay so that it only applies to land along designated key habitat links within the townships of Tynong, Garfield and Bunyip.
Amendment C229 was re-exhibited from 21 November 2019 to 20 December 2019.
Submissions for Amendment C229 closed at 5pm on Friday 20 December 2019.