5 September 2016

Keeping up with Koala Conservation

Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes called upon the Labor Government in Parliament last week to make use of the land purchased for koala habitat by the previous LNP Government.

“The LNP committed more than $26.5 million to the protection of koalas when in power, including the purchase of 57 hectares of prime koala habitat at Lake Macdonald.

“In a Private Members Statement to Parliament I called upon the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles to at least keep up with community expectation for Koala conservation and deliver policies that actually invest in the environment and deliver outcomes.

“I worked very hard with my colleague the then Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Andrew Powell, to reinstate a trial to translocate koalas into the Noosa National Park. The trial was very close to approval and the Minister should give it the tick of approval right now.

“There is also land at Lake Macdonald and in other south east corner locations where female koalas that have been sterilized or koalas that have been displaced by development could be translocated.
“Preliminary estimates in the new South East Queensland Regional Plan suggest that an additional two million people will be living in the south east by 2041. Where will the koalas fit in? The current government needs to take action before it is too late.
“Friday 30 September is national Save the Koala Day and I will be attending a fundraising lunch at Noosa’s Makepeace Island, which is owned by Sir Richard Branson and Brett Godfrey. The Makepeace Island project is intended to be a base for treatment not to become a new home, so it is vital that the Government utilize the suitable habitats they already have available to them. 

“I commend the Richard Branson Koala Conservancy and all of the dedicated local koala campaigners for the work they are doing in this space. If as a community we lose the battle to maintain healthy koala populations in South East Queensland, then we have lost the war to maintain the environment in which these wonderful creatures live,“ Mr Elmes said.