KOALAS in South East Queensland will be better protected under a landmark proposal unveiled by the State Government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital on the Gold Coast today, where she announced plans to declare more than half a million hectares of land as koala priority areas, including 300,000 hectares of habitat where clearing will be prohibited.
It’s part of the draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2019-24, which Queenslanders are also able to have their say on.
“We know koalas are under threat and that is why my Government has been working with experts, the conservation sector, local governments and industry on a plan to ensure they are protected into the future,” the Premier said.
“Today we are releasing a landmark draft strategy and draft mapping that outline strong measures to protect koala habitat and address the threats impacting South East Queensland’s koala population.
“New mapping identifies more than 570,000 hectares of land to be declared koala priority areas – an area that is twice the size of the ACT – of which more than 300,000 hectares is core habitat.
“We are proposing to implement stronger regulations to limit clearing in these large interconnected areas of high quality habitat.”
Ms Palaszczuk said ensuring the protection of large corridors of land will address one of the main causes of a declining koala population, which is the destruction of habitat.
“We have a once in a generation chance to ensure their survival in the South East and that is why we are asking every Queenslander to get involved,” she said.
“Particularly as recent bushfires have had a devastating effect on the koala population with animals killed or badly injured, it’s never been a more pertinent time to act.”
People will have until 31 January 2020 to provide feedback on the draft strategy here.
$50,000 for koala care infrastructure has also been announced.