Spotters called in after koala road death

Published 6:49pm 25 November 2022

Spotters called in after koala road death
Words by Nick Crockford

Fauna spotters will check for more "at risk" koalas as part of the State Government's response to the death of a female koala on Elizabeth Ave, Clontarf this morning.

The eight-year-old, named Andrea by local experts, was struck by a vehicle about 7.15am on the southbound lane, opposite the site of a new $19 million pedestrian overpass.

When contractors were made aware of the incident, they contacted the RSPCA, Wildcare Australia and Moreton Bay Regional Council to advise of the strike.

The loss was described as “horrendous” earlier today by the Stop Clontarf Overpass Action Group, which said it came three days after trees were removed from the bridge site.

Spotters called in after koala road death
The overpass construction site on Elizabeth Ave, Clontarf.

A spokesperson for Transport and Main Roads (TMR) said: “We are arranging for fauna spotters to survey the Hays Inlet area, behind Ray Frawley Fields to identify any koalas that may be at risk of travelling towards Elizabeth Ave.

“If found, we will liaise with local rescue groups to determine how to manage potential risk to these koalas.”

“Although not in the original design, koala fencing was included in the project in response to community concerns.

“We co-ordinated with council and consulted with several koala groups regarding the installation of fauna exclusion fencing to help stop native animals accessing the road.

Spotters called in after koala road death
Artist's impression of the new Elizabeth Ave overpass.

“This fencing is currently under construction and as a result of today's incident we are working with contractors to expedite the fencing and installation of koala rescue poles.”

The TMR spokesperson said, in addition to fencing, LED signs to warn drivers will be installed at the location and there will be “an increase in compensatory planting”.

“We are gathering information around the specific circumstances of this koala strike to understand how it occurred and if any other mitigation measures can be implemented,” the spokesperson said.

State Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath added: “It's extremely sad to see yet another koala killed along this stretch of road, this has become all too common over recent years.”

Spotters called in after koala road death
A graphic by Transport and Main Roads illustrating the work being undertaken at Elizabeth Ave

The overpass is to link Clontarf Beach State High School with its fields on the western side of Elizabeth Ave and improve safety for those crossing the four-lane road.

Mrs D’Ath attended community information sessions earlier this year, from which some changes were made to the project plans.

The TMR spokesperson said: “We will continue to work with the Department of Environment and Science and local governments to support koala protection initiatives on our road corridors in Queensland.”

To report any sick or injured koalas to RSPCA Queensland's 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625), or Wildcare Australia's 5527 2444 in South East Queensland.

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