Queensland-first technology to keep Redlands’ wildlife safe

The Redlands will be home to Queensland’s first ever virtual fence designed to reduce the number of wildlife hit by cars.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the innovative technology would be trialled from late July along a two-kilometre stretch of Heinemann Road, Redland Bay, a known location of wallaby strikes in the city.

“This Queensland-first trial will involve installing guide posts along Heinemann Road that trigger a sound and light barrier when a car approaches, creating a virtual fence designed to stop wallabies going onto the road,” she said.

“Cars are one of the recognised threats to our wildlife and this trial shows we are committed to looking at innovative ways to protect our city’s fauna.

“If this virtual fence is successful in reducing the number of wallaby strikes, we will consider rolling it out in other areas of the city and also look at how it can protect other animals such as koalas and bandicoots.

“The potential is endless not only for us but also our neighbouring cities and with wildlife deaths being an issue across south-east Queensland I know our neighbouring councils will be watching with keen interest.”

Divisional Councillor Julie Talty said the virtual fence was not only more cost effective than physical fences, but it also had added benefits for wildlife beyond reducing the number of animals that are killed or injured.

“Wildlife naturally traverses bushland and we know physical fences can prevent them from getting to food or breeding partners, potentially interrupting their natural habits,” Cr Talty said.

“This virtual fence is the perfect solution because it discourages them away from the road when a car is approaching, while also allowing them to traverse bushland when it is safe, enabling them to get to where they need to go.

“A virtual fence trialled in Tasmanian showed a 60-70 per cent reduction in road kill events, prompting us to initiate our own trial in the Redlands.

“It’s not only about reducing wildlife fatalities; anyone who has hit an animal on the road knows this can be a safety issue so reducing the number of wallaby strikes will also improve safety for motorists.”

Cr Williams said the virtual fence was the latest innovative solution adopted in the Redlands to look after local wildlife.

“Our green credentials go beyond the business as usual; last year we partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast to trial a ground breaking Chlamydia vaccine to combat the disease that ravages local koala populations,” she said.

“We are committed to doing what we can to protect our local wildlife and will plant one million native plants before 2026 to connect, strengthen and widen wildlife corridors.”