The State Government has announced that it is increasing protection for koalas in South East Queensland, with strict new planning regulations and Koala-sensitive Design Guideline for measures relating to planning and design in development activities.
On the back of public consultation of the draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy, the State Government has amended the planning framework to address the loss of habitat for the koala populations in SEQ and on 7 February 2020, the new koala conservation protections commenced.
Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Environment outlines that the koala population was under intense pressure with the impact of a prolonged drought and recent bushfires.
“In December 2019, we released the draft South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy for public consultation,”
“While the full strategy is finalised, we are acting swiftly by releasing new mapping and stronger planning regulations”. More than 690,000 hectares has now been mapped as koala habitat under these new regulations”.
“That is an increase of more than 421,000 hectares on what existed previously for state protected koala habitat. “Over 577,000 hectares in South East Queensland is now identified as Koala Priority Area, which includes habitat and areas identified for rehabilitation – that’s an area twice the size of ACT”.
“The Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Koala Protection) Amendment Regulation 2020 delivers on the Queensland Government’s commitment to ensure the continuation of koala populations in the wild,” Ms Enoch said.
Thousands of residents in Queensland are calling for stronger protections for koalas in South East Queensland with more than 690,000 hectares mapped as koala habitat under these new regulations.
Clearing of koala habitat areas within Koala Priority Areas is prohibited under the new regulations with some exemptions including fire breaks, an allowance for maintenance and the removal of dangerous trees.
More than 440 requests were made to validate mapping across that period, and many Queenslanders expressed a desire to ensure that their local areas of vegetation were protected.
Mark Townend, chair for the Koala Advisory Council outlined the draft Koala Conservation Strategy and accompanying regulations achieved strong koala protection measures in the face of growing population pressures.
“The Government has worked closely with the Koala Advisory Council to ensure all stakeholders were heard and the result is one that still accepts the principle of providing the necessary housing stock for growth yet protects and enhances the important areas of habitat to ensure the sustainability of the koala population in south east Queensland.
“The Queensland Government is now analysing the feedback in order to inform the final Strategy, which I expect to release later this year,” Ms Enoch said.
– Regulated vegetation management maps property maps of assessable vegetation
– Vegetation management supporting maps viewed through Queensland Globe
– Protected plants flora survey trigger maps – proposed clearing is within a high risk area.
– Koala Priority Area or Koala Habitat Area maps
Mapping for State Interests
Koala mapping can be located on the development assessment mapping system
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Source: Information, Drawings and Images
All article information is sourced and available for review from referenced locations.
– Media Release: more koala habitat will be protected by stronger regulations
– More information: Development Mapping
– More information: Koala Fact Sheets – new regulatory framework
– More information: Property-scale koala habitat maps
– More information: Koala habitat mapping – Queensland Globe
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