- Friday 22 May 2015
Research shows 75% of international tourists hope to see a koala when coming to Australia and it is estimated that the koala contributes $1.1 billion to the Australian tourism industry.
To guide the management and protection of the Sunshine Coast’s koala population, Council has drafted a five-year action plan that will now go out for public consulation.
The Draft Koala Conservation Plan provides a realistic framework based on Council and community partnerships and contains 30 actions to be delivered over five years.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said Council would now call for public feedback on the report.
“Council is serious about protecting this iconic native animal,” Cr McKay said.
“We will continue to proactively buy land, designated as koala habitat, through the Environment Levy.
“Where appropriate we will continue to apply stringent planning conditions when assessing development applications that require removal of koala trees.
“And, importantly we will continue to work with private landholders, research institutions and not-for-profit organisations in delivering koala conservation outcomes on the Sunshine Coast.”
The Koala Conservation Plan aims to:
- determine where koalas exist on the Sunshine Coast and understand local threats
- collect robust scientific data, including koala habitat mapping to inform management decisions
- identify priority locations to enhance the quality of core koala habitat and improve connectivity
- ensure development assessment processes support the protection of koalas and their habitat
- highlight where mitigation measures are most required
- guide community involvement in programs and partnerships that increase koala habitat availability, connectivity, build understanding and mitigate threats.
Council will now undertake targeted community engagement through workshops with key koala and wildlife stakeholder groups as well as broader engagement with Sunshine Coast residents.