Experts called in to help koalas find a good home in Noosa

Wildlife experts are being called upon to help relocate rehabilitated koalas to the Noosa hinterland in a new partnership with the Queensland Government.

Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes, welcomed the initiative to give sterile but otherwise healthy female koalas a chance to happily live out their days in an underpopulated koala habitat.

“The alternative to this plan for their relocation is for these iconic animals to be euthanized and I welcome the vision of the Environment Minister in looking beyond the normal practice for a better solution,” Mr Elmes said.

Environment Minister, Andrew Powell, is seeking groups to help koalas, which have been treated at south-east Queensland animal hospitals, by assessing possible release sites, releasing the koalas into the wild and then monitoring their progress.

An “invitation to offer” has been issued to those interested in joining the trial project.

“The Newman LNP Government is doing all it can to protect koalas but releasing those which have been abandoned or injured back into the wild is not simple,” he said.

“We want to give koalas the best chance of survival while minimizing the impact on any existing populations and that takes expert knowledge and dedication.”

Mr Powell said the Government may amend regulations so koalas in general could benefit from relocation particularly when such action could remove the animals from the risk of harm.

“It is no secret that koalas are under significant pressure in Queensland and while habitat loss is one contributing factor, we can’t look at these issues in isolation,” he said.

“The Newman Government has taken action on other issues that affect koala numbers such as attacks from domestic animals and vehicle strikes and we’ll take every opportunity to give them the best chance of survival.”

Mr Elmes said the Queensland Government had committed more than $26.5 million to protect koalas including the recent purchase of 57 hectares of prime koala habitat at Lake Macdonald.

“Our commitment to buying and rehabilitating habitat will help ensure our koala populations – particularly on the Sunshine Coast – continue to survive and grow,” Mr Elmes said.