New regional koala preservation strategy welcomed
THE State Government’s new South East Queensland Koala Preservation Strategy has been welcomed by a Toowoomba councillor.
The new strategy, which sets aside hundreds of thousands of hectares across southeast Queensland for koala habitation and earmarks another 10,000 hectares for land restoration, was launched by Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch on Saturday.
The strategy endorses six actions areas to improve koala populations across the Toowoomba region and the rest of the southeast, including habitat protection, habitat restoration, threat management, improved mapping, monitoring, research and reporting, community engagement and partnerships and strategic co-ordination.
The new mapping shows large chunks of land in the eastern and northern Toowoomba region designated either “core koala habitat areas” or “restoration areas”.
Planning and development chair Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan said she was supportive of the new plan.
“My personal opinion would be that I welcome it,” she said.
“When you talk about koalas becoming extinct through the recent bushfires and the loss of habitat, the statistics are frightening.
“The principle of natural corridors and habitat I would absolutely support — you have to look at the implications and restrictions it would put on individuals who own land in those areas.
“(But) when the proper science is done and those areas are identified, we need to act on that science.”
It comes after the State Government introduced new mapping that added more than 550,000 hectares in designated koala habitat in February.
Ms Enoch said the strategy was a step forward towards the preservation of the native animal.
“The landmark South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2020-2025 will protect koala populations in the wild and their habitat while supporting Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” she said.
“This strategy sets a vision for halting the decline of koala populations in the wild in south east Queensland and securing their long-term survival.”
To view the full report, head to the State Government website.