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Improved mapping leads to better outcomes for koala habitat
The Queensland Government is delivering on its commitment to protect koalas, with an extra 190,000 hectares of koala habitat now added to essential habitat mapping.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said this new koala habitat mapping follows recommendations from the Koala Expert Panel to better protect koalas in Queensland.
“The science tells us that the biggest threat to Queensland’s koala population is the loss of habitat, and that is why we are taking action,” Minister Enoch said.
“This new mapping incorporates the best available data and uses improved modelling techniques to help us identify and protect important koala habitat.
“The release of this mapping builds on the vital work the Queensland Government has done to protect essential habitat through the passage of our strong land clearing laws.
“It is a further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to deliver on each of the Expert Panel’s recommendations, including appointing a new Koala Advisory Council which I announced earlier this month to oversee a new Koala Conservation Strategy.”
The extra koala habitat has been added to the Essential Habitat tool under the Vegetation Management mapping.
Minister Enoch said the update on the mapping was an important first step in implementing the recommendations of the Koala Expert Panel.
“Our Government is also working to identify priority areas for koala protection based on the updated koala habitat mapping.
“The next stage of mapping will be used, in part, to protect koala habitat through the planning framework.”
Minister Enoch said the Queensland Government was currently reviewing the relevant components of the planning framework that relate to koala habitat protection.
The newly appointed Koala Council will be briefed on the next steps of the Koala Conservation Strategy when it meets on 13th December 2018.
Members of the new Koala Advisory Council include
• RSPCA Queensland Chief Executive, Mark Townend (Chair)
• University of Queensland Associate Professor and Chair of the Koala Expert Panel, Jonathan Rhodes
• General Manager of Dreamworld’s Life Sciences Division, Al Mucci
• Chief Executive of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, Kirsty Chessher-Brown
• Director of Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Rosemary Booth
• Queensland Campaign Manager with the Wilderness Society, Gemma Plesman
• Senior Advisor, Local Government Association of Queensland, Kristy Gooding
• Executive Officer, Healthy Land and Water, Julie McLellan
• Chief Executive, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Cameron Costello
• Chief Operating Officer of MOSAIC, Marina Vit
• Chief Executive of Timber Queensland, Mick Stephens
• Representatives from Government including Department of Environment and Science, Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Department of Transport and Main Roads.
The establishment of this dedicated koala council was one of six recommendations of the Koala Expert Panel.
Minister Enoch says the experts have a wealth of experience in animal welfare, conservation and urban planning.
“One of their first tasks will be to work with the Queensland Government to finalise a new South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy.”
The role of the Koala Advisory Council includes:
• Helping deliver the new Koala Conservation Strategy and overseeing the implementation
• Evaluating the effectiveness of the Strategy and providing advice to government
• Reviewing government’s koala monitoring and evaluation program to ensure targets are met
• Ensuring transparency and public reporting on koala programs and changes to habitat
• Establishing stakeholder networks
• Ensuring the long-term agenda for koala conservation is maintained
For more information about koala conservation in Queensland go to www.environment.des.qld.gov.au/wildlife/koalas/
7th September 2018 - Land clearance to cause Koala extinction in NSW by 2050
18th July 2018 - Gold Coast City Council looks to boost local koala habitat
25th February 2018 - Australian imaging company supports Koala Plantation Fund
12th June 2017 - $3.3 million revamp for Brisbane’s Daisy Hill Koala Centre
14th February 2017 - Dreamworld backs koala conservation with new breeding program
26th June 2015 - NSW koala conservation area threatened with logging
1st October 2012 - National Zoo and Aquarium breeding program welcomes new koala
30th April 2012 - Koalas to be listed as threatened amid rapid decline
28th September 2011 - Koala inquiry calls for vulnerable status
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