National recognition for koala protection

A collaborative effort to protect an important wildlife corridor in Noosa has been thrust into the national spotlight with a Partnership and Collaboration Excellence Award.

At the 2019 Local Government Professionals Australia National Congress in Darwin, Noosa Council was named a national award recipient for successfully bringing together a range of stakeholders on the Yurol-Ringtail State Forests Conservation Project.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the recognition reflects the innovative nature of this complex, ground breaking environmental partnership.

“Our CEO, Brett de Chastel, and other staff spent countless hours working with the State Government, local environment group Noosa Parks Association, and HQ Plantations to progress this agreement,” he said.

“Brett in particular gave up many a weekend to work on the deal and its associated paperwork.”

“The reafforestation and transfer of 2,400 hectares of State Forest into National Park will create an important wildlife corridor that will benefit not only koalas, but many threatened and endangered species,” Cr Wellington said.

Work started recently on the project after Council, the State Government and Noosa Parks Association signed an agreement in November last year to jointly fund the $3.5M investment needed to buy-out license areas currently managed by HQ Plantations.

Once plantation timber is removed, the areas can be restored to a natural habitat.

“This project will leave a lasting legacy for our community and I commend the enthusiasm of Council staff and the foresight of councillors in making this a reality,” the Mayor said.

“Those instrumental in progressing the project from Council’s point-of-view included CEO Brett de Chastel, Principal Environment Officer Peter Milne, former Executive Officer Narelle Reid, and former Governance Advisor Paul Bright.”

“This national award acknowledges what can be achieved when governments, community and industry work together to deliver better outcomes for future generations,” The Mayor said.

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