While koala campaigners on the Tweed fight for every inch of koala habitat threatened by development, across the border on the Gold Coast landholders with over 10 hectares are being urged to consider selling some of their land for the state government’s koala habitat land purchase program.
The Queensland government recently announced it will invest $22.5 million over the next three years to buy land and expand koala habitat in areas of south-east Queensland where koala habitat is under significant pressure.
But in the north-eastern corner of NSW on the Tweed coast, only around 140 koalas in three colonies survive. Koala campaigners fear the massive Kings Forest subdivision for 4,500 homes southwest of Kingscliff will severely impact on koalas, especially since Tweed council allowed dogs in the estate.
Gold Coast Cr Cameron Caldwell said the initiative aimed to source land suitable for rehabilitation and long-term protection.
‘Koala conservation is high on our agenda and any measures taken to increase suitable habitat and increase the connectivity of that habitat are certainly welcome,’ he said.
‘Council has two major koala conservation projects on the go: the East Coomera one, which has seen more than 100 koalas relocated to either Beechmont or Wongawallen; and the Elanora-Currumbin project where, in co-operation with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, we’re encouraging people to report koala sightings and to slow down on roads in the area.’
Cr Caldwell said since the Elanora-Currumbin project began last September, the number of reported sightings from this area had been generally higher than for the previous year. In July there were 64 sightings reported and in June, 73. This includes sightings in the suburbs of Elanora, Currumbin Waters, Currumbin Valley and Tallebudgera.
The state government is looking to hear from people who have blocks of land at least 10 hectares or more that are suitable for rehabilitation for koala habitat.
Expressions of interest close on October 31. For information visit: www.ehp.qld.gov.au or phone 07 3330 6317. For information on Council’s Koala Conservation Programs visit www.goldcoastcity.com.au/koalas.