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Koala review by end of 2020

Posted: 3pm 19 Aug 2020

Moreton Bay Regional Council’s CEO will review how the Council is protecting koalas and present a report by the end of the year. He’s been asked to look at road crossings, possible speed reduction and the need for a wildlife hospital.

The review was sparked by Councillor Cath Tonks (Div 9), who moved a motion requesting it during today’s council general meeting (August 19).

“As a passionate advocate for our region, I know conserving our local environment is of utmost importance to our community,” Cr Tonks told the meeting.

She’s particularly concerned about the safe movement of koalas during the current breeding season.

What the CEO has been asked to do

  • Conduct a review into council’s total native wildlife infrastructure investment specifically highlighting the spend on koala infrastructure, broken down by type of initiative, such as koala fencing, underpasses and lighting.
  • Compare the spend on overhead fauna crossings, with koala-specific infrastructure in the review.
  • Include a speed reduction review on council-controlled roads that have a known koala presence during the annual breeding season.
  • In addition to the recently-announced environmental buyback program, examine the need for a local native wildlife hospital/respite centre.

Call for local wildlife hospital/respite

“I understand The Mill at Moreton Bay has recorded a 22 per cent annual increase in the koala population each year over the past three years, and is home to one of the only growing populations of urban koala in the state,” Cr Tonks explained.

“Formalising a (wildlife) centre at The Mill could provide opportunities to support respite and research facilities in partnership with USC Moreton Bay, similar to the UQ Vets Practice at Dayboro.

“A local facility would alleviate extensive travel times and costs that volunteers are currently burdened with to travel to the RSPCA at Wacol or Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast. It could also support broader community education, including for local schools and visitors to our region, and provide a hub to showcase the ongoing work being done to support native wildlife and koalas, both at the Mill and more broadly across the region.”

Cr Mick Gillam supported the notion of a wildlife hospital and said he’d been speaking to the Pine Rivers Koala Care group about a possible location at Lawnton.

“It’s a bloody good idea,” he told the meeting.

Cr Matt Constance was also supportive of a review, which could identify any gaps in the Council’s current wildlife initiatives.

He said koala-specific underpasses needed to be considered, making mention of the Jinker Track in his Division.

Cr Tonks’ motion was passed and the CEO will complete the review by the end of 2020.

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