Council moves to formally protect local Koala habitats
  • Thursday 10 July 2008

Sunshine Coast Council has endorsed a newly identified Koala Conservation Area in the region in a move to ensuring the longevity of the species on the Coast.

Environment portfolio spokesperson Councillor Keryn Jones said a recent State government funded Koala survey and habitat mapping program also highlighted the need for new Koala Conservation Areas that recognise habitats of importance to ensure local populations are protected.

“As part of its endorsement of the Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2006 (the Koala Plan), the Queensland Government committed funding over a 4 year period for its implementation, which included assisting local governments in mapping key Koala habitat areas,” Cr Jones said.

Cr Jones said the former Caloundra City Council was successful in receiving some of this funding, matching it with financial and in-kind contributions.

“Thanks to state government grant funding, Caloundra City Council was able to survey and map koala habitat outside the urban area, with results indicating areas of rich important habitat, but of low density,” Cr Jones said.

The Koala is an international faunal icon and the state’s official faunal emblem, and is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the Southeast Queensland Bioregion under the Nature Conservation Act (NCA) 1992.

Cr Jones said Council also thanked local residents who participated in the survey and provided detailed information on sightings of Koalas.

Close to 50 sightings were reported by residents in late spring 2007, with the information recorded on Council’s database and complimenting the study.

Council will also investigate potential planning mechanisms and any implications to the Caloundra City Plan in combination with complimentary programs to enable the protection of Koala habitats.