Yarrabilba and Flagstone housing estates high on koala black spot list reports Sarah Orr, from Quest Newspapers January 2, 2017
Australian Koala Foundation chief executive Deborah Tabart says that new housing estates such as Yarrabilba and Flagstone were high on the koala black spot list. These fears echo and re-inforce the worst fears of the Logan and Albert Conservation Association and local group Logan Community Environment Watch.
Ms Tabart was pushing for a freeze on habitat clearing. She said koalas in Logan were “functionally extinct” meaning the population may never recover.
“I’ve seen committee after committee and the core problems don’t go away because we keep cutting habitat down,” she said.
“The Queensland Government will never impose constraints on the developer because that’s where they get their money.” She said she was not surprised rescue groups reported their “worst season ever” for deaths and injuries.
Habitat loss seems to be increasing daily with the planned $750 million southeast Queensland resort complex to be built by a Chinese property developer in a koala habitat area seeks permission to increase its approved 500-unit project on the site to 1500 units.
The areas of proposed clearing for human settlement continues with the most recent application by MIRVAC at Greenbank East
Motorists need to be aware that koalas are especially on the move now during mating season and keen to cross the road to seek a mate. We must be even more alert and on the lookout for animals and their young on the roads.
Koala sightings as well as fatalities are being reported in Queensland and New South Wales. The death of a female and her joey is a double tragedy.
Logan City is home to a significant koala population and has one of the world’s largest koala conservation centres located at Daisy Hill Conservation Park. This facility is a Queensland state government conservation park. The social and economic value of koalas to our city and nation is difficult to quantify however, it is undoubtedly significant. This Koala Conservation Strategic Plan aims to ensure the long-term viability of koalas in Logan City and demonstrates Council’s commitment to koala conservation over the long term. How well does Logan do it now and will koalas in Logan and surrounding areas be protected by implementing this 10 year strategic plan 2013-2023?
Have your say on the Koala Conservation Strategic Plan by completing the online survey before Friday 16 May 2014.
In summary, the plan is based on achieving the following key strategic outcomes:
• SO 1 – Improved science of koala ecology and habitat requirements in Logan;
In Logan, koalas are most frequently sighted in the eastern suburbs of the city including Daisy Hill, Shailer Park, Carbrook, Priestdale and Cornubia. Residents of Greenbank, Logan Village, Browns Plains especially Berrinba Sanctuary, Jimboomba, Munruben, Mundoolan and others will not agree.
It is important to note that current data on koala presence in Logan is mostly anecdotal and not a result of targeted scientific surveys. Council has little knowledge of koalas from former Beaudesert areas and as there have been no funded onground field studies, residents reported sightings are regarded as "anecedotal".
• SO 2 – Increased quality protected koalahabitat in Logan;
To achieve a net increase in koala habitat in the city and South East Queensland it is essential that a regional approach is undertaken and areas of koalahabitat are connected through ecological corridors.
• SO 3 – Improved koalasafety and health;
Logan City is expected to grow by more than 200,000 residents over the next 20 years and beyond. Logan City will continue to be one of the fastest growing areas in Queensland with dramatically increasing urban development and increasing pressure on the natural environment and koala habitat.
• SO 4 – Increased positive community engagement and awareness of koala conservation actions.
To achieve the strategic outcomes of this Plan it is essential that it is supported by an active, engaged and supportive community including residents, land owners, businesses and the Development industry
The online survey basically asks you to answer same 4 questions about each outcomes
1. Are these actions the right actions to ....
2. Are there any actions that need to be changed to .....
3. Are there any additional actions you think we should be doing?
4. What ideas do you have to support the delivery of these actions?
and finally any extra comments. Please consider a submission regarding any point / points you are concerned about.
These could include -
Importance of using best possible and latest mapping. ie SEQCatchments Koala Habitat Map for Logan - with Regrowth map and Observations, Genome Barrier and Pinch Point Maps as has been done for Brisbane City Council.
Koala policies, programs, zones, map layers and legislation should be included in town plan not merely as offsets opportunities
Undertake and publish Natural Areas Management Plans
Invest in Koala Research
Use citizen scientist programs like Great Koala Count to track sightings and include results in mapping
Develop stronger land stewardship programs with community to reward incentivise residents to retain and extend bushland habitat.
Place higher value on existing habitat with existing koala populations being retained in perpetuity for wildlife ie such areas are not suitable for industry and housing developments. Rezoning of such land at Browns Plains for conservation is critical if Logan wants to consider itself - and be considered by others as a "proactive koala-friendly" community
Educating community on living with wildlife - especially koalas has to be a high priority to remove any misconceptions that exist
PLEASE MAKE A SUBMISSION IF YOU CARE ABOUT KOALAS WHEREVER THEY MAY BE. MUCH MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE IF WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE THE LOCAL EXTINCTION OF KOALAS IN LOGAN AND SOUTHEAST QUEENSLAND.
Koalas in SEQ are not protected and there in no connectivity not in Logan's new planning. The new Queensland Government SPP is a disaster for koalas and wildlife.
DECLARATION as ENDANGERED is needed. It won't happen unless community makes it happen!!
Please send your submission asap
Your choice to complete online - or write your signed submission and send to
Chief Executive Officer Logan City Council PO Box 3226 Logan City DC Qld 4114
While both Logan and state government support an OFFSET scheme to "pay for" koala habitat to be cleared, neither Logan and Albert Conservation Association LACA nor Australian Koala Foundation AKF supports a general offset policy,
The Australian Koala Foundation has recently requested a change to Australia’s environmental offset system, which poses serious issues for the conservation of koalas. The current system allows the government to approve environmentally damaging building projects if the business pledges to make up for destruction of native habitat by providing similar habitat elsewhere. Deforestation has led to the decline in the genetic diversity of koalas, but has also increased disturbance, injury, stress, and competition for food or territory due to overcrowding. It also creates barriers that prevent koalas from roaming for mating purposes, and the addition of another habitat does not even ensure that koalas will migrate there.
The koala is considered a threatened species in three parts of Australia, but their habitat is being destroyed by removing irreplaceable foliage that they depend on. The destruction of native habitat creates major gaps or breaks across the koalas’ landscape. A recent study from the University of Queensland revealed the importance of maintaining at least 30% of forest land to ensure the koalas' survival. Results point to the importance of the species access to wide landscapes, because habitat isolation can threaten genetic diversity which is necessary to conservation. Researchers found that genetic diversity “dropped rapidly” once the country’s amount of forest land fell under 30%. It is important that the Australian government take measures to increase the amount of forest land to a level suitable for conserving the rapidly declining species koalas.
Many thanks to all the wildlife carers who rescue rehabilitate and release - from turtles to owls to koalas and kangaroos. They are always confronted with issue - where to they release and they are required to relocate to home territories of each animal. Will this endanger the wildlife - koala or other again. Lets reduce the risk by having a good conservation strategy - with teeth - in our town planning. Up to us to ask. Council does not have all the answers.
So concerned for koalas is the International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW they have an online petition to Peter Wright Director, Species Information and Policy Section, Department of Environment concerning the Draft EPBC Act referral guidelines for koalas.
LACA Logan and Albert Conservation Association agrees with IFAW's conclusion that
If the government's Koala Referral Guidelines get the green light, it will legalise the destruction of vital koala habit. We urgently need your help as the 7th February deadline to prevent further koala deaths is looming. Let’s find a way to stop the bulldozers.
The latest proposed 'referral guidelines' are just another nail in the coffin, putting profit before protection. We need your help to let the Government know that this approach isn't good enough and that they must do much more if we are to save this precious Aussie icon.
Please write to the Government today making your views known. IFAW have drafted a submission the text follows below.
I am writing to you as an Australian animal lover to express my deep concern about the draft referral guidelines for koalas (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory).
These draft guidelines are not robust enough to ensure that potentially damaging developments are submitted for referral and scrutiny.
• Many areas important to the survival of koalas in urban and semi-urban areas are deemed not to need referral. • The scoring system for determining which koala habitats are referred is flawed, with only habitats achieving high scores of 8+ needing to be referred, ignoring those still critical koala habitats that may not make the grade. • Cumulative impacts have been completely ignored.
These draft guidelines would potentially allow extremely risky and damaging developments to proceed without proper assessment and without the opportunity for community or public scrutiny and consultation. This is a recipe for the continued demise of koala populations.
The threatened species referral measures under the EPBC Act need to be applied with rigour and a high degree of precaution and priority if they are to have any impact in protecting koalas. These guidelines are a step in the opposite direction – opening the door for unsustainable development to destroy habitats vital for koala survival.
As a priority a robust National Recovery Plan for the koala must be developed and implemented. This must include follow-up mechanisms to guarantee the continuation and improvement of coordinated management and conservation efforts for the species, ensuring that the populations not covered by the EPBC Act also are considered.
Australian Koala Foundation has also condemned the Draft EPBC Act referral guidelines for koalas.
Save the koala media release is scathing of the guidelines and their intention ending
“We have little faith that the EPBC Act or these guidelines will achieve much for the Koala. Indeed the only reason we have made this submission is to ensure our position is on the record. The only way to achieve true protection for the Koala will be to get the Koala Protection Act passed in Federal Parliament. And we will,” says Tabart.
Time is short but a short submission is all that is needed.
Guidelines website linked here states "These draft guidelines have been developed in consultation with Koala experts, ecological consultants and state government representatives. The public comment period provides an opportunity for wider consultation with stakeholders. Feedback is welcomed on all aspects of the guidelines and all comments received will be considered in the finalisation of this document."
Comments may be submitted in an Excel, Word or PDF format. Comments must be submitted to:
However, is it too little, too late? The Government at all levels has known what to do to ensure a sustainable coexistence between koalas and humans for decades, yet has chosen instead to prioritise anthropological development over the protection of prime koala habitat and the preservation of a national icon. Wildlife Queensland lives in hope that appropriate action will be taken before it is too late. Our children’s children should have the right to view the koala in the wild.
You and your friends and family are invited to come along and join the celebrations.
Free entry. Free parking. Santa's free gifts for every child.
Opportunity to join FRIENDS OF BERRINBA SANCTUARY, the KOALA ARMY with AKF Australian Koala Foundation and hopefully - yet to be confirmed - register for training as volunteer for Logan's new WILDLIFE AMBULANCE administered through RSPCA.
Why is it so difficult to live in harmony with our wildlife?
It happens in Logan on a small scale if 200 acres /90 hectares is small. Here a family property was established in 1930s and some generations later the same family continues to live in harmony with nature and all its species. The property has recently registered with a voluntary conservation covenant to become part of Humane Society International (HSI) / Wildlife Land Trust (WLT). It is also part of Logan City's Land for Wildlife.
Deborah Tabart OAM, CEO of the Australian Koala Foundation spoke to the group who came together to celebrate Save the Koala month and pledge ongoing support to actions to gain changes in legislation to protect the koala and its habitat.
It is unconsionable that both DTMR and Logan City believe that a future road though this properties - and others - is in the best interests of the community.
Support this action from Australian Koala Foundation. Go to the following linked page https://www.savethekoala.com/koala-army/send-letter and using information provided there, send a letter to your politicians. Phone them also for extra emphasis. Spread the word with your friends and family. Let them know you are joining the Koala Army to ask for a Koala Protection Act. This is especially inportant as our current legislation and policies have failed and will continue to fail to protect the koala's essential habitat.
It is particularly worrying that big business has had the government's ear and through COAG there are plans to give the EPBC Act 'powers' to state governments.
You might also like to go to the koala army shop to purchase a dog tag or army tee shirt?
Deborah Tabart OAM, CEO of Australian Koala Foundation will spend the morning of Save the Koala Day, this Friday 28 September visiting Ms Barbara Robinson, a local Berrinba resident concerned about the potential loss of Koala habitat around her property - as a result of a new road.
Ms Robinson will be presented with a Koala Habitat Atlas Map of her surrounding area. Deborah believes the map will justify Ms Robinson's argument in her bid to not only protect her personal property from fragmentation but to protect the immense amount of Koala habitat in surrounding areas which are under considerable threat from powerlines and urban expansion. Ms. Tabart – The Koala Woman – says this is a classic example of where Government maps are wrong and the developers are just allowed to bulldoze their way though sensitive habitats.
"Government maps say the land is not worth protecting, but I challenge Minister for the Environment; Andrew Powell, to show me why this road should go ahead" said Ms. Tabart.
Sign on tree above indicates that this particular tree is favoured by resident koalas and is marked by scats and tracksie koala poo under and many scratch marks on tree trunk. Book Tracks, Scats and Other Tracesis an indispensable tool for bushwalkers, naturalists, students, zoologists, and anyone wanting a better understanding of Australia's unique mammal fauna. Details here.
Protecting and preserving our habitats and ecosystems is essential to the survival of all wildlife. Every acre left unexploited safeguards wildlife that desperately needs our help to survive. The role of private lands has now become an integral part of the solution, and private landholders with a concern for wildlife and habitat protection are in the unique and important position to make a very real contribution to conservation efforts across the country. Read more about donating your land here.
It is unfortunate that planning for Logan and South East Queensland has happened - and is still happening - before sufficient data is known about biodiversity values. What is worse is that an imaginary line drawn on a map such as in SEQ Reginal Plan 2009-2031 and Connecting SEQ 2031 could lead to such extreme fragmentation of the landscape sliced and diced by roads without provision for wildlife that local extinction of many species will be inevitable.
LACA is a member of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiativea landscape-scale conservation corridor that stretches from the Grampians in Victoria to far north Queensland.
What a dismal future is "planned" for our koala populations in SEQ!
LACA members would agree with Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke's statement that "the states on their own have allowed numbers to continue to go into freefall." While this rapid decline in numbers may be attributed to development, cars, dogs, disease and climate change the real picture must also include the lack of political will to make decisions and legislation that will be loudly opposed by the development industry. The decades of work done by the Australian Koala Foundation - funded by community was instrumental in the EPBC protection coming about.
The image above shows community protest outside property DTMR wants to acquire to build a road freight motorway - called Park Ridge Connector Corridor. This property is currently shared with resident koalas and other species. It also shares many species and values of Berrinba Wetlands and Karawatha Forest.
Why would government want to pave any of this?
We - ie all governing bodies and communities of people who share koala land - need to preserve all koala habitat currently used - and take preventative action to retain the ecosytem containing the food trees. The mantra NO TREE NO ME is absolutely true.
It is a shameful indictment on the Gold Coast city that the Coomera development has occurred. The so called scientific research re translocation is a furphy to obtain funding. It does not justify clearing koala habitat to build houses and infrastructure for people! To make matters worse Gold Coast council has recently decided to place a protection order on two camphor laurel trees - an environmental weed species. What persuaded them? Someone chained to a tree for two days.
The Senate Inquiry is now in full swing and we are waiting to find out when the hearings will occur. There were 65 submissions and Australian Koala Foundation is No. 25. AKF staff are slowly reading through all the submissions and some of them, particularly from the development industry, are just quite shocking.
The Senate document AKF wrote is the culmination of 25 years of long hard work and they are offering supporters a chance to become part of koala history by sponsoring a page for $100.