New project restoring more than 40ha of koala habitat

Published 1:00pm 1 March 2024

New project restoring more than 40ha of koala habitat
Words by Jodie Powell

A Cedar Creek events venue and private campground will protect koala habitat spanning the equivalent of 50 rugby league fields with the help of a Federal Government grant.

A new community-led conservation project has started at Allambi Retreat, which received money from the Saving Koalas Fund - an initiative of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Owners of the Cedar Creek property will restore 43ha - the size of more than 50 rugby league fields - with eucalypt plantings, fire breaks and initiatives to increase the number of koala-friendly tree species in the area.

Creating a haven

Allambi Retreat owner Richard Wiseman says a colony of koalas has made its home on the property, which forms a habitat corridor from Cedar Creek through to McDowalls Road Reserve.

“Our goal is to create a sustainable, long-term haven at Allambi Retreat for this iconic Australian animal,” he says.

“By improving their local ecosystem and extending the habitat corridor, we hope to secure their survival in our area.

“The koalas here at Allambi Retreat hold a special place in our hearts.

“We consider it a privilege to play our part in their protection.”

The South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy 2020–2025 found populations were falling due to habitat loss, disease, being hit by cars, dog attacks and natural disasters.

It says 72 percent of remnant core koala habitat in southeast Queensland has been cleared since 1960.

Community support

New project restoring more than 40ha of koala habitat
Ruby is one of the koalas that calls Allambi Retreat home

The Allambi Retreat project will involve expanding habitat by planting thousands of native trees and shrubs that are specific to the area.

Community volunteers, citizen scientists and local koala researchers will help plant the native species, creating a thriving, biodiverse underbrush and providing access to the riparian forest.

Professionals will then create fire breaks with guidance from the Rural Fire Service to mitigate bushfire risk in the koala habitat.

Funding for the Allambi Retreat Koala Habitat Protection and Expansion Project was among $10 million in community grants to improve koala habitat, reduce threats, increase understanding of koalas and diseases impacting them.

Work is expected to be completed by mid-2025.

Protecting koalas

New project restoring more than 40ha of koala habitat

Richard says the extensive restoration will support the koala population and contribute to the broader ecosystem.

“This land-conservation project will address a critical need for protected koala habitat in southeast Queensland,” he says.

“We thank the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water for partnering with us for this important project.”

Find more information about the project and how to get involved here.

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