Have your say about Moreton Bay koalas
Many koalas in the Moreton Bay Region will miss out on habitat protection if the State Government’s draft strategy and mapping is adopted.
The deadline for comments and reviews on the Government’s strategy is 31 January 2020.
Much of Moreton Bay is designated as a Koala Priority Area (KPA) in the Government’s Draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy, but the devil is in the detail, and the only koala trees that will get any protection in Moreton Bay will be those located in areas officially mapped as Koala Habitat. Trees outside these areas will not be protected, regardless of their known use by koalas. We know where the koalas are. We live and breathe it every day. There are so many areas where koalas are regularly sighted that have been completely excluded or significantly reduced - including most of Joyner (see screenshots attached showing the new draft mapping (in green), and the statistics showing where the koalas actually are), Warner, Morayfield South and a big section of Redcliffe.
Help save our koalas
It’s time to tell the State Government to save our koalas
Some points to make in submissions to the State Government include:
- The draft koala habitat mapping fails to protect areas where many of our koalas are living right now as evidenced by koala sightings recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia and Wildnet
- Areas extensively planted with koala trees by the Pine Rivers and Moreton Bay community over the past 30 years should be recognised in the Koala Habitat mapping
- Land removed from the Government’s mapping of Koala Habitat ahead of the draft strategy being released should be reinstated
- Areas of Moreton Bay mapped previously as being of state environmental significance should be included as Koala Habitat, especially if ground-truthing evidence shows koala activity
- The proposal to let property owners have automatic rights to clear up to 500 m2 in Koala Habitat areas should be replaced with an impact assessment process
- The exemption allowing firebreaks to be developed and maintained in Koala Habitat areas is supported, provided that there are rules to prevent abuse
- A moratorium on clearing koala trees in Koala Priority Areas should be implemented (with effective sanctions) until the Strategy and Koala Habitat mapping are finalised
- The use of financial offsets as a mechanism for property owners and developers to buy the right to destroy koala habitat is unacceptable
- Analysis of overall gain/loss of koala habitat in south east Queensland should recognise that areas close to the coast such as the Redcliffe can sustain more koalas per hectare than other areas further west where it’s hotter and drier
Have your say to State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch using this submission template
You can edit the submission templateto say what you really think. Include details of koala sightings in your local area, or the area which you believe should have proper koala habitat protection. Tell the Minister why you want koalas saved in Moreton Bay.
Comments about the Government’s draft SEQ Koala Conservation strategy can also be made via an on-line survey on the Government’s website.
Consider copying your local MP and / or Moreton Bay Regional Council on your submission:
Koalas in south east Queensland – the backstory
The alarming decline in south east Queensland koala numbers has been evident to the State Labor Government for more than four years:
- 31 August 2015, a scientific report is presented to the Government which says that there has been an alarming decline in koala numbers between 1996 and 2015
- 7 May 2016, the existence of this report is revealed by ABC News in: ‘Koala extinction imminent in parts of south-east Queensland, report warns’
- 7 May 2016, the State government announces appointment of a Koala Expert Panel
- 10 March 2017, the Koala Expert Panel’s Interim Report is released with the Government saying it accepts all of the Report’s recommendations
- 4 May 2018, the Koala Expert Panel’s Final Report (dated 2017) is released with the Government saying that it accepts all six of the Panel’s recommendations
- 22 November 2018, the State Government announces that it is appointing a Koala Advisory Council to ” coordinate and oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the Koala Expert Panel report”
- 8 December 2019, the State Government announces its draft SEQ Koala Conservation Strategy for public consultation until 29 January 2020, together with draft SEQ koala habitat mapping for consultation until 22 December 2019
Habitat protection mapping ignores where many koalas live
The problem with the State Government’s draft Strategy and Koala Habitat Mapping can be seen by comparing the blue and green areas in the double image.
The top map shows (blue dots) where koalas live, based on reports to Wildnet by Pine Rivers Koala Care members and other members of the community.
The bottom map of the same geographic area shows the State Government’s draft Koala Habitat mapping in green.
The blue dots show where the koalas want to live, but unless it’s also part of the green map, they won’t be protected by the State Government.
This includes parks and private property in Joyner, as well as other open space areas in Moreton Bay where koalas are observed often.