Councillors split over what constitutes a wildlife corridor
IT TOOK a trio of motions for councillors to agree to put off a decision on a Clarenza Wildlife corridor.
Councillors at the Environment, Planning and Community Committee were split on whether or not to accept an application to modify a DA at 2 Rosewood Drive by removing a pre-existing wildlife corridor on a single lot.
The applicant, Matt Dougherty and Sticklip Pty. Ltd. had applied to remove the corridor on the grounds there was only 350 square metres of the lot to develop after it was taken into account.
"There is no connectivity with the remainder of the corridor within the subdivision and therefore is not a corridor," the council application documents stated.
"And the lot adjacent to the east has no such impediment, is fenced off and predominantly cleared."
Cr Richie Williamson in moving a motion to accept the alteration said it "is a wildlife corridor in name only" and was just a small parcel of land on a small block "that goes nowhere".
"There are other ways to protect the native vegetation on that block and the conditions of consent...offer the same - if not equal to - protection as the wildlife corridor," he said.
The council officer's recommendation was to reject the modification on the grounds the applicant had not adequately justified the removal of the corridor and the application was in fact a review of the conditions of consent.
In speaking against Cr Williamson's motion and in moving his own motion to accept the officer's recommendation, Cr Greg Clancy said while it was preferable to have connecting corridors it was not always the case.
"A large number of our fauna species actually fly or can cover some open ground," he said.
"It is so hard to get protection for the natural environment in this area.
"To actually have a corridor which was determined following scientific survey is something we shouldn't just throw away."
With Cr Williamson and Andrew Baker firmly in one camp and Cr Clancy and Cr Debrah Novak in the other it was up to Mayor Jim Simmons to break the deadlock.
Mayor Simmons promptly voted down both motions on the basis he needed to seek more information then moved a motion of his own to put the decision to a full council, which was passed 4-1 with Cr Clancy voting against.