Matters of Local Environmental Significance
Another Whitsunday Conservation Council Initiative
The clearing of land and cutting down of certain isolated stands of trees has damaged our environment over the years. It continues to threaten the survival of flora and dependent fauna, which need to be preserved in order to maintain biodiversity. There is also the need to preserve the beauty of nature that is threatened by construction and traffic works.
A number of Queensland Councils have taken advantage of the opportunities presented in the Environmental Offsets Act, 2014 to advance biodiversity matters locally and have integrated Matters of Local Environmental Significance (MLES) into their Planning Schemes.
Integrating MLES to the Planning Scheme could allow Council the possibility to require environmental offsets from developers in certain circumstances as part of the development assessment process. This is different to carbon offsets and can only be triggered when particular development applications are lodged with Council.
A register of MLES provides developers, the local council and the Dept of Transport and Main Roads with a database of registrations that provides safeguards over the clearing of land and removal of individual trees.
The MLES would also provide locals and tourists with the ability to seek out the best that we have to offer in our environment. Organised tour operators and private walking groups can explore new destinations.
The Whitsunday Conservation Council is working with the Whitsunday Regional Council on starting such a register. It will be a huge on-going task that will rely on locals providing information on things for the register.
We will expand on this project page as procedures and data collection are defined. In the meantime, please consider the suggested list below and let us know on the form provided, so that it can be followed up.
- Unique, special vistas or landscapes
- Special trees or special areas of vegetation
- Hollow trees
- Animal & bird food trees
- Roosting trees
- Remnant trees in parks or along the foreshore for nesting
- Shade and shelter trees for humans
- Cultural significance
Enter details to be considered for the Register of Matters of Local Environmental Significance