Queenslanders reminded to have their say on koala conservation strategy

Queenslanders can still have their say on the Palaszczuk Government’s draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2019-24, which is open for public consultation until 31 January 2020.

Today, Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch met with a delegation from the Japanese city of Kagoshima for a tree planting ceremony at Dreamworld.

“The trees we planted today will eventually provide food for koalas here at Dreamworld, but we also want to ensure south-east Queensland’s wild populations have a reliable food supply and safe place to live.” Minister Enoch said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s comprehensive draft koala conservation strategy is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that aims to ensure the long-term survival of our precious koalas and that’s why I encourage Queenslanders to have their say.”

Kagoshima City and the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation have a bilateral animal conservation partnership and the city’s Hirakawa Zoo is home to the second largest captive koala population in Japan.

General Manager Life Sciences Dreamworld Corroboree and member of the Government’s Koala Council, Al Mucci said the tree planting ceremony is a special occasion that reinforces our commitment to koala conservation in south-east Queensland.

“With the ongoing drought and the recent bushfires, we need more food for our koalas in the wild and more food for koalas in our care,” Mr Mucci said.

“These trees at Dreamworld will eventually provide food for our koalas, but we need to ensure there is enough koala food for our wild populations.

“That’s why I’m encouraging all Queenslanders to have their say on the draft strategy, because it’s a wonderful experience seeing these magnificent animals in the wild.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government has already invested in several initiatives that support the draft strategy’s objectives.

“Koala habitat areas have 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,” Ms Enoch said.

“Investments to protect koalas include a $2 million partnership with Queensland Trust for Nature to deliver koala habitat revegetation projects as well as a $1.5 million annual grant to the South East Queensland Wildlife Hospital Network to care for sick, injured and orphaned koalas.

“In addition, a further $250,000 has been announced in grants for volunteer wildlife carers and wildlife hospitals caring for koalas and other wildlife impacted by the recent bushfires and ongoing drought.”

Draft strategy fast facts:

  • New mapping identifies more than 570,000 hectares of land to be declared koala priority areas
  • More than 300,000 hectares is core koala habitat
  • It is proposed to implement stronger regulations to limit clearing in high quality habitat areas
  • Science has shown koala populations have declined by 50-80% in south east Queensland
  • In the past 20 years, about 75% of koala habitat has been destroyed

Submissions can be made online at the Queensland Government’s Get Involved website: www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au.

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