South East Queensland landholders are being encouraged to have their say on new mapping proposed by the Palaszczuk Government that will help protect koalas.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said landholders have until Sunday (December 22) to provide feedback on new mapping that identifies key koala habitat across South East Queensland.
The mapping, which was released for consultation on 8 December 2019, supports the delivery of the new draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2019-2024.
“The Palaszczuk Government is taking a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure the long-term survival of our precious koalas, through a new comprehensive draft koala conservation strategy,” Ms Enoch said.
“The strategy, which is open for consultation, outlines plans to increase the protection of more than half a million hectares of koala habitat – an area that is twice the size of the ACT.
“Ensuring the protection of these large corridors of land will address one of the main causes of a declining koala population, which is the destruction of habitat.”
Minister Enoch said koala habitat areas had been identified across South-East Queensland using state-of-the-art modelling, including two decades of koala sighting records, scientific research and existing mapping by local councils.
“During this process, there were some inaccuracies that were found – such as areas that had been mapped as koala habitat but had, in fact, been developed.
“These were rectified during our processes, and the mapping that is now proposed contains remnant and high value regrowth, which is more likely to be koala habitat.
“We want to make sure we get this right, and that is why we opened up the draft maps for public consultation so landholders and stakeholders have a chance to review the koala habitat mapping and provide feedback.”
Landholders have until Sunday to review this mapping and provide feedback by visiting this website.
Once the final map is prepared, following the map consultation process, additional areas will still be able to be considered for potential inclusion in the mapping, through a formal map amendment process.
Minister Enoch said along with ensuring the protection of koala habitat, the draft strategy also outlines how the Government has a target to reduce koala injury and mortality across 10 key road hotspots across South East Queensland.
The new Strategy and mapping can be accessed by visiting www.qld.gov.au/seqkoalas.
Consultation on the mapping closes on Sunday, December 22 and consultation on the strategy closes on January 31 2020.