Council moves to protect important koala habitat

Redland City Council has moved quickly to try and protect vegetation that has fallen through the cracks of the State Government’s new South East Queensland koala mapping and legislation.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams today asked officers to urgently investigate ways to protect the 7,675 hectares of land previously protected under State koala provisions but now excluded under the recently adopted State Government mapping.

“When the State Government released their draft mapping we were shocked to see so much of our previously protected land excluded, and we made this crystal clear in our submission to the State, as did our residents,” she said.

“We naively hoped the State would listen to our concerns but then suddenly last week they rushed through the legislation, showing a complete disregard for our feedback.

“So today, Councillors made it clear that if the State doesn’t care about koala habitat, then we will do what we can to protect it.”

Cr Williams said there had been large amounts of misinformation from the State Government with regards to the land previously protected by State koala provisions.

“I have heard the Minister and local member claim that Council mapping included urban areas where koalas don’t live and suggested the areas they removed from koala mapping aren’t important to our koala population,” she said.

“Our mapping suggests otherwise with several koalas tracked within the areas that the State Government will no longer protect under their new mapping and legislation.

“Following today’s decision we will look at all and any options to protect areas critical to our local koala populations, including planning scheme amendments and Temporary Local Planning Instruments to give us the time to investigate longer-term options.”

As part of today’s Mayoral Minute Council officers will provide options in May for Council consideration.