Disappointingly, the Redland City Bulletin story (7 January) titled “By – laws starve orphan koalas” fails to reflect the levels of support available to koala carers.
Council is fully supportive of the efforts of carers who volunteer their time to care for injured and orphaned animals, including supporting the carer featured in your article through a conservation grant to help establish her rehabilitation enclosure.
Council has spent millions of dollars over many years to improve or extend the city’s koala habitat and corridors and continues to do so in collaboration with key stakeholders, including state and federal governments.
While Council trusts that most residents will understand the need to mitigate potential risks to carers from roadside harvesting and the potential for damage to streetscape plantings, there are a number of alternative options available to carers.
Wildlife rehabilitation organisations and individual carers can access community grants to provide for their own koala fodder plantations.
Redland City Council, Logan City Council, Brisbane City Council and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, all have grants that support this purpose, as do Energex and Powerlink. Some koala carers for example in Logan City, operate and maintain their own fodder farm with funding sourced through various community grants.
Council has previously offered carers the opportunity to collect eucalypt tree branches from Council’s tree pruning operations and arrangements can also be made with some private tree loppers to source suitable fodder during tree removal activities.
Koala carers have also made arrangements with private landowners, and even schools in the past, willing to provide access for fodder harvesting.
Council has established a fodder planting area at Victoria Point for harvesting koala fodder.