Successful Push to Protect Koala Habitat
Published 10 September 2021
Moreton Bay Regional Council’s calls to the State Government to protect additional areas of koala habitat have been heard.
The State Government’s revised Koala Conservation Plan Map released this week includes permanent protection for 4,244 hectares of koala habitat that Council lobbied to have recognised for its ecological values.
Mayor Peter Flannery said he was pleased with the outcome, as part of the region’s ambition to be the most koala friendly council in Australia.
“I’d like to thank the State Government for acting on our calls for greater koala habitat protections,” Mayor Flannery said.
“We have worked hard to get additional areas recognised under the SEQ Koala Conservation Strategy since it was released last year, and the 67,618 hectares now permanently protected as core habitat means Moreton Bay Region has one of the largest protected areas of habitat in southeast Queensland.
“I see this as just a starting point, and I’m proud to lead a council that’s willing to step up by putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to protection of our environment.
“This financial year we’ve committed $61 million for parks and the environment, we’ve dedicated $8.6 million for environmental programs, there’s $2.9 million available to purchase and protect strategic land parcels and maintain ecological connectivity, and we’re making a consciousness effort to rehabilitate our environment with 150,000 trees to be planted.
“A whopping 90,000 of these trees will be planted at The Mill in Petrie, home to the one of the most successful koala conservation programs in the country.
“Locals resoundingly told us through their feedback in the landmark Moreton Says that they want to see a significant increase in environmental protection in the face of growth and development - we have heard that message and we are acting."
As part of the State Government’s revised mapping, a total of 1,252 hectares of habitat had its protection as koala habitat removed.
The majority of these areas were removed as the result of better data, with the on-ground values found not to be the preferred habitat for koalas.
“We understand this change does not necessarily mean a loss of protections,” Mayor Flannery said
“While this land is no longer mapped koala habitat; areas will still be protected under provisions such as the Vegetation Management Act 1999.
“The State Government will continue to accurately identify the best available koala habitat based on the best available information.
“This announcement is also a timely reminder to slow down on local roads as we come into the peak of koala breeding season, so please stay alert because sadly no amount of environmental protection can save a koala from a car.”
To find out more about Council’s koala initiatives, visit https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Services/Environment/Local-Wildlife/Koalas
For more information about the State Government’s Koala Conservation Plan Map, visit https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/wildlife/animals/living-with/koalas/mapping/koalamaps