New conservation plan to help keep koalas safe

12 June 2017

Gold Coast residents have been asked for feedback on a new Koala Conservation Plan to help give our local koala population a sustainable future.

Cr Pauline Young opened the new round of consultation during a visit to Burleigh Conservation Park today, praising the community for their valuable input so far.

“We’ve taken your feedback on board, we recognise the importance of the iconic and vulnerable koala and we’re now a step closer to seeking Council’s endorsement for the plan,” she said.

“This new plan builds on our endorsed Elanora-Currumbin Waters, East Coomera and Burleigh Ridge Koala Conservation Plans, and identifies specific threats and appropriate conservation actions relevant to all areas of the city.”

 Mayor Tom Tate said the plan prioritised 61 conservation actions to support the preservation of the city’s natural environment and ensure we live in balance with nature.  

“We received a total of 896 responses to the initial survey in February. The majority suggest habitat loss is the biggest threat to koalas,” said Mayor Tate.

“Our new plan addresses these concerns while also looking at other significant threats including ways to decrease koala injuries and fatalities caused by domestic and pest animals, and manage threats from traffic and bushfire.

“It also recommends options to increase responsible pet ownership, through our local law and statutory covenants and further community engagement.”

The City collaborated with Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Wildcare Australia Inc. and the Queensland Government to develop the plan and to support koala health and welfare.

Last year, koala admissions to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital were higher than average. Disease is ranked as the highest reason for mortality, making the plan timely.

A high number of respondents indicated the main conservation measure they undertake is driving slowly in koala habitat areas.

“This demonstrates the importance of initiatives like the City’s road-crossing signage in black-spot vehicle strike areas,” said Cr Tate.

The City’s new plan seeks to continue to improve information and education and increase community participation in koala conservation events and initiatives.

Residents are invited to view the draft plan at gchaveyoursay.com.au/koalaplan and provide final feedback from 12 to 26 June.

New conservation plan to help keep koalas safe  photo