We’ll be asked to do our bit to help protect koalas, through a new annual levy and by keeping better watch on the family dog.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has today announced a Koala Fund of $10.85 million for koala habitat protection.
To help pay for the Fund, ratepayers will cough up just $3 each year – contributing $800,000 in 2018-19, with Council planning to borrow the additional $10 million to fund ‘koala land’ purchases.
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The Mayor said he was delighted the Koala Fund had gained support with Councillors.
“We will be able to purchase habitat important for koalas,” Cr Tate said in a statement.
“When we acquire it, that land won’t be simply locked away. Instead, we will invest in infrastructure that will help the koala survive and thrive,” he added.
Mayor Tate (pictured above) also highlighted the need for residents to keep a better watch on their dogs, which among a number of animals posing a risk to koalas.
“We are looking at ways to improve habitat coverage and condition, decrease koala injuries and fatalities caused by domestic and pest animals, and manage threats from traffic and bushfire, which are priority actions within the City’s Koala Conservation Plan.
“For example, if a land purchase adjoins a busy road, we would look to install protective measures as we know that vehicle strikes are a major cause of koala injury and death.
“The other big issue facing koalas are domestic dogs so we will look at what measures can be undertaken to keep domestic dogs away from these koala areas. This starts with dog owners, not allowing their animals to roam free and savage our beautiful koala.’’
Key areas Council will look to acquire land include Coomera and Pimpama.
Mayor Tate encouraged residents to report koala sightings by signing up to the City’s Koala Friends Program online, or by phoning 1300 GOLDCOAST.