Turtles at centre of bid

BUNDABERG Regional Council is trying to cut red tape for building applications without affecting turtle breeding, as part of draft amendments to the 2006 Burnett Shire Planning Scheme.

Among the minor amendments to the scheme is one to reduce the level of assessment for building works in turtle sensitivity areas, where there is no outdoor lighting.

“It's only related to those without external lighting,” Councillor Greg Barnes said.

“There is no need for unnecessary red tape, the community's sick of it.”

Cr Barnes said the amendment was still designed to ensure light would not affect the breeding season.

“We still have a very firm commitment to protect the interest of our turtles,” he said.

“They're the main drawcard for this region, the same way the penguins on Phillip Island are.

“We're absolutely committed to supporting the turtles and the Cut the Glow program.”

Other proposed amendments include updating referencing to the landscaping policy, including a new assessment category for tourist parks to simplify changes to parks, changing the level of assessment for display homes and estate sales offices, and clarifying density and separation controls for units and duplexes.

“The proposed amendments are minor in nature and do not introduce any new policy positions for council, but rather seek to streamline the development assessment process and correct minor anomalies that have been identified since the scheme was introduced in May 2006,” Bundaberg Regional Council's director of planning and development Andrew Fulton said.

“It is important to note that until such time as an integrated Bundaberg Regional Council Planning Scheme is prepared for the newly-amalgamated council area, the former Burnett Shire Planning Scheme 2006 will continue to guide growth and development across the former Burnett Shire Council area.”

A full summary of the amendments is available from the Bundaberg Regional Council's planning and development department, and will remain on public display until December 4.

Bundaberg Regional Council town planning officers (coastal and strategic) can answer inquiries.

They can be contacted on 1300 883 699 from 8.15am to 4.45pm, Monday to Friday.

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