Next stage for The Mill’s industry-leading koala program

17 July 2017

Talkin koalas
Member for Kallangur Shane King, EVE Field Supervisor Bree Wilson, Environment Minister Steven Miles and Mayor Allan Sutherland.

After identifying, tagging and ensuring the health of 45 koalas around the site, Moreton Bay Regional Council has now engaged Endeavour Veterinary Ecology (EVE) to undertake the next stage in their industry-leading koala protection program for The Mill at Moreton Bay project.

The next stage will involve tagging new koala joeys, real-time koala monitoring, and ongoing veterinary health assessments and treatments to ensure the koalas’ health throughout the project, which will deliver the region’s first full-service university precinct by 2020, supported by a mix of residential, commercial and retail opportunities.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor, Allan Sutherland, said council was committed to ensuring local koala populations remained safe and healthy throughout The Mill at Moreton Bay project, and was pleased to continue its work with leading wildlife veterinary specialist, Dr Jon Hanger, and his team at EVE through the next stage of their industry-leading program.

“The Mill at Moreton Bay is an extremely exciting project for our community, expected to create up to 6,000 local jobs, up to 10,000 university student placements and $950 million in economic benefit by 2036,” Mayor Sutherland said.

“While the economic and social benefits of this project are undeniable, by working with Dr Jon Hanger and his team we can ensure we not only deliver important study and employment options for future generations, but can also help to protect our local koala populations for future generations as well.

“EVE has now completed an intensive site assessment to identify and tag 45 koalas on or near the 460 hectare Mill at Moreton Bay site, which have now all undergone comprehensive health assessments and been fitted telemetry devices.

“The next phase of EVE’s program will involve ongoing koala monitoring to help inform construction activities on the site and keep the koalas safe throughout the project, tagging and monitoring new koala joeys and ongoing veterinary health assessments and treatments.”

Environment Minister Steven Miles said that koalas were under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation, often as a result of urban development.

“Despite the scale of The Mill at Moreton Bay project, council has committed to delivering a net gain in environmental values on the site by ensuring koala populations are safe and healthy throughout construction and establishing additional koala bushland habitat with the conservation of more than 110 hectares of environmental reserves on the 460 hectare site,” Mr Miles said.

“Queenslanders want to protect native habitat. Together with council’s own koala conservation program and ongoing partnerships with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and local koala groups, this program will help ensure we support the local koala population at Petrie and throughout the region into the future.

“This is a good example of how development can occur in an environmentally responsible manner with the assistance of experts such as Endeavour, and I’d encourage developers across Queensland to take note.”

Director of Endeavour Veterinary Ecology (EVE) Dr Jon Hanger said The Mill project was an excellent opportunity for council to showcase an ecologically sustainable development project, in which wildlife and their habitats are protected and preserved.

“The koala management program for The Mill will ensure the koala population is well protected and thrives in the new university precinct. Recent advances in the development of a koala Chlamydia vaccine by the University of the Sunshine Coast, along with innovative tracking technology, will ensure the koalas can be protected on the site.

“The project builds on the success of the Moreton Bay Rail Project in reversing the decline of this koala population, and will ensure that the koala population maintains a sustainable growth trajectory. The establishment of new koala habitat in degraded areas will also contribute to a net ecological benefit for the site.”

Division 7 Councillor, Denise Sims, said she welcomed the next stage in council’s partnership with EVE, which would help protect local koala populations in the Petrie area.

“EVE’s industry-leading work in tagging and monitoring koalas is considered best practice, and is a great fit for The Mill project. In fact, Jon and his team have previously developed an intimate knowledge of the koalas located at The Mill, through their detailed tagging and monitoring work during the construction of the nearby Redcliffe Peninsula Line.”

State Member for Kallangur, Shane King, said The Mill was going to be a game-changer for the Moreton Bay community.

"The redevelopment of the former Petrie Mill site is going to transform the area, taking a former industrial use and turning it into a destination centred on education and learning,” Mr King said.

"It is great to see the site can demonstrate and deliver on a net gain in environmental values, including the region's koala population."

For more information on the the project visit The Mill at Moreton Bay

Vinnie the koala
Local koala ‘Vinnie’ with Joanne Bain from Pine Rivers Koala Care.

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