The new year is promising to be a big one for koala and wildlife conservation on the Mornington Peninsula. Cr David Gill has invited the public to attend a koala/ wildlife forum on 26 March 2020 at 6 pm in Mornington. The event is free but you need to register and obtain your tickets.
We cannot let an internationally famous Australian icon become extinct in its natural habitat. South East Queensland has entered the final phase of the extinction of its biodiversity, with mega-developments gone mad and the loss of Koalas mounting as Koalageddon increases exponentially.
A koala was photographed today (25 November 2017) in the Frankston Reserve, just as Parks Victoria are about to rip down the fences and open the gates for 24 hour recreational access. This park had been until recently a natural reserve for wildlife, established with great difficulty by local wildlife activists and scientists.
Clearing our Koalas Away is a damning new report by Dailan Pugh (North East Forest Alliance, July 2017) that puts together intensive logging maps recently obtained via Freedom of Information
The sleepy village of Pottsville was initiated with its first ever political protest on Sunday. The protest was organised by Northern Rivers Guardians (NRG) on behalf of the threatened koalas at Black Rocks.
Dear Minister Matthew Guy,
You are obviously gung ho for political advancement!
You appear to do anything to appease those with the loudest voices as well as all developers.
We ask you to please consider native animals which have no voice but ours.
NATIVE ANIMALS NEED YOUR HELP MINISTER GUY!
It is shocking to hear that several Frankston Councillors have voted to build over the last koala corridor in this crucial area. Craig Thomson has made a Submission to Frankston Council item 11.8 AGAINST Request for a Planning Scheme amendment to REMOVE 42 hectares from the Green Wedge Conservation Zone to allow 350 houses to be built. He says, "The land is a vital Koala migration route- it means local extinction of koalas in South Frankston. The VOTE was close 5 to 4 against the koalas. The next step for this item is for further community consultation and the Planning scheme amendment to go before the Minister."
The timber industry is calling for more than a million hectares of NSW national parks to be opened to logging, including iconic natural treasures like Nightcap National Park.
This logging stands to severely disrupt and damage the habitat of a number of threatened flora and fauna species (e.g. Sooty Owl, Koala).
For all you depressed wildlife battlers out there, here is a truly 'good news' koala story about a wildlife warrior hero, James Fitzgerald, who has placed nearly 800ha of what looks like good sub-alpine land in trust for koalas.
Here is a report from KoalaTracker headquarters about the terrible situation for koalas in Queensland. The Queensland government is reclearing land only recently regained for the environment. Wildlife activists are having to fight for the poorest secondary growth land because nothing else is available for koalas to live on. Humane Society International is of the opinion that a new Queensland Bill exposes hundreds of thousands of hectares of currently protected regrowth and remnant vegetation to clearing. The situation is urgent and shocking ...
By the way - Entries are now open for the KoalaTracker T-Shirt Design Competition. Please tap your creativity and help to come up with some t-shirt designs. You have just 3 weeks! If you are on Facebook, please 'like' and share www.facebook.com/KoalaTracker with your friends.
Moreton Bay Koala Rescue needs our help. The organisation is in dire need of a secretary and other volunteers to assist with admin. Please contact Anika on 0401 685 483.
A disturbing picture is coming together of koala plight
Alex Harris asks KoalaTracker afficionados to please keep spreading the word, and mapping those koala sightings. He says that the picture that is coming together is disturbing, but highly useful to further research, to council and state government risk mitigation, and more importantly, federal intervention if required. He adds that federal intervention is looking more and more likely as states go feral!
We can’t save them - or count them - if we don’t know where they are!
Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection (DEHP) is conducting koala surveys in seven local government areas in South East Queensland over five years, to provide an update on the numbers, distribution and health of koalas in these regions.
It has recently started surveying throughout what we know to be the old Noosa shire (yes that includes the headland National Park), spending one week each month for most of the year, on public and private lands. DEHP intends to survey Maroochydore and Caloundra next year.
KoalaTracker is an important reference point for areas in which surveys should be undertaken that may not be recorded as high value habitat, so keep mapping your sightings, deaths and injuries for the public record.
Queensland rolling back environmental protection
One is inclined to pity the staff of DEHP charged with managing wildlife, ecosystems and sustainability, for the conflict the Queensland government has now established in policy with the Mines Minister announcing changes to the Vegetation Management Framework. In the name of ‘greentape reduction’, significant land will be open to wide scale clearing of regrowth and remnant vegetation.
In a 2002 landmark study by the Brisbane Institute, Professor Peter Spearritt laid out the value of greenspace to urban environments, its necessity to biodiversity and sustainability, the rapid rate of removal of greenspace already in Queensland, and the danger of a single city stretching 200 kilometres from the NSW border through to Noosa - a notion that has made quick progress to fruition.
Subsequently, Professor Spearritt and Dr John Nightingale made a submission on behalf of The Brisbane Institute to an Australian Parliament House Committee Sustainable Cities Inquiry. Governance of land, they note, is a critical issue.
Remarkably, Sydney is relatively well served, if we include the national parks and state forests that ring the city from south to west to north. Brisbane, on the other hand, is not so well served. While the area covered by the Brisbane City Council has a respectable proportion of greenspace, much of the remaining area of the so-called ‘200 kilometre city’ – Noosa to the Tweed and beyond down towards Byron Bay – is grossly deficient. Read their submission here: "Sustainable Cities".
Things have only gotten worse, and the threat to koalas from this state government is real. Some of our most important koala habitat is 20-50-year-old regrowth; some of the most stunning ‘Land for Wildlife’ properties are regrowth or remnant vegetation, and where we are seeing koalas alive, are in areas marked as low value habitat or not suitable habitat - often because they were cleared - but the regrowth is now proving to be the only habitat available.
Queensland Lib Nat Gov engaged in barbarous reclearing of habitat
The Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill, 2013, introduced to Parliament on the 20th of March by the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, represents one of the largest environmental rollbacks in Australian history. While the government’s rhetoric claims an objective of maintaining protection and management of our native vegetation resources, the governments actions contradict those claims time and again.
Humane Society International is of the view that the Bill exposes hundreds of thousands of hectares of currently protected regrowth and remnant vegetation to clearing.
It is a clear breach of an election promise made by Premier Campbell Newman that “The LNP will retain the current level of statutory vegetation protection.” Just over one year on, his government has announced these proposals to remove regrowth regulations on freehold and indigenous land, and Humane Society International is strictly opposed to its fast-tracking.
The Vegetation Management Act, 1999, has played a critical role in protecting remnant vegetation and the clearing of high value regrowth and regrowth around certain watercourses in Queensland, and the proposed Bill will result in a significant weakening of associated laws. The integrity of the legislative scheme is underpinned by the application of detailed regulations and a robust methodology for the assessment of environmental outcomes, and in its current form the Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill undermines that integrity.
Urgent: Take action before May 12th
Click here to send a form letter prepared by HSI (please feel free to add your own comments), or write directly using the following contact details:
The Honourable Campbell Newman MP
PO Box 15185
City East QLD 4002
An incredible wildlife oasis in the near south west of Brisbane, Berrinba has a wonderful history of conservation. A member of the Wildlife Land Trust, Berrinba covers 90 hectares of pristine native bushland with a diversity of native species resident, including northern brown bandicoots, red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies, powerful owls, scaly-breasted lorikeets, sacred kingfishers, eastern whipbirds, sugar gliders, the ornate burrowing frog, naked tree frog, copper-backed brood frog, and koala.
In the past few months alone, 91 koala sightings have been recorded. Representative of what Greater Brisbane used to look like and hold in wildlife, Berrinba is a special place within the Logan City Council area.
Koalas have been identified and named, and are now being mapped on KoalaTracker with some beautiful photographs. If you or your children have never seen koalas in the wild and you live in Brisbane, make sure you attend at least one of their Koala Spotting afternoons. Held the last Saturday of each month, 1:30pm for 2pm start of a guided walk - the next one is May 25th. Berrinba Sanctuary is at 292 Browns Plains Road (west of the Wetlands), Berrinba. Call 3806 8868 for more information.
Interesting Fact: Two politicians are involved in reporting koala sightings to KoalaTracker
Do you know that for all the rhetoric about saving the koala, there are only two politicians who are members of KoalaTracker, and who are reporting sightings? And you would never guess who...Warren Truss, federal member for Wide Bay and Tony Wellington, Councillor at Sunshine Coast Regional Council. Thank you both for being a part of KoalaTracker. Please urge your colleagues to join!
There is a lot more Koala Tracker news
Although this article is mostly about Queensland problems, KoalaTracker is a national project. Just this month, the communication of issues in Queensland is urgent, and rather than write a very long article, information about other state predicaments has been reserved for the next article.
Don’t forget, KoalaTracker will feature on the television show Totally Wild, Channel Ten, Tuesday 14th of May. And if you haven't visited the KoalaTracker blog recently, please do! There are articles with videos and photos about koalas eating apples, cows killing koalas, and the wonderful documentary, Wild koalas: slow life in the fast lane. You can see the full documentary here. It will air on National Geographic channel later in the year.
Please support KoalaTracker.com.au. Monthly fees across two platforms jump from $70 to $82 in July, and this project is self-funded, without government or corporate support.
In the meantime, Alex Harris, who heads this project, looks forward to seeing your design entries! Competition closes May 30th, 2013. Winners announced June 10th. Alex may be contacted at
0412 635 274
Crazily, the Federal Government is actually giving developers self-regulation regarding declaring whether there are 'significant' populations of koalas where they intend clearing and building. This is the height of absurdity. Alex Harris of KoalaTracker has a method for documenting koala activities but he needs your help to keep it up. We need this kind of evidence to challenge developers' lies about flora and fauna on the land they clear. KoalaTracker builds on every new sighting report. The bad new government guidelines underscore the need for KoalaTracker and local involvement. We need koala location intelligence. Article by Alex Harris
Tony Burke had no legal obligation to even consider the threatened koalas in Leard forest for the Maules Creek and Boggabri approval. New loopholes could see developers and miners determining if koalas are under threat.
The rate of road-kill of koalas in Queensland, NSW, and Victoria is testimony to the unsustainability of human population growth and the cowardice of our leaders in the face of profit-driven developer groups. We drive too fast, we are too numerous, and we have far too greater impact.
Environment Minister Burke has shown more courage than previous environmental ministers, surprising environmentalists. Koalas in NSW, Queensland and the ACT will be classified as vulnerable under a protected listing by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke. Mr Burke says koala numbers have dropped by 40 per cent in Queensland and by a third in NSW over the past two decades.
"Minister Burke has ruled out protection for all koalas and we are concerned these northwest NSW koala populations may be left off the threatened species list, even while their populations are falling dangerously low." Zoologist David Paull: 75 per cent decline in the relative abundance of koalas in the Pilliga from 1993 to 2011. Estimates only 500 to 2000 koalas left in the area.
On the northern coast of N.S.W. adjoining the Gold Coast and S.E.Queensland lies Tweed Shire, christened as the Green Caldera by once Environment Minister Peter Garrett. This area is famous for one of the highest biodiversity levels in Australia and infamous for the greatest level of biodiversity loss in N.S.W. thanks to the fact that the vast majority of Tweed councillors are pro-development.
Delightful koala pictures in this film which talks about why we need to speak up for koalas at the upcoming Federal Inquiry into the status, health and sustainability of Australia's koala population.
See inside for terms of reference and contact details. We also cite some of a contribution from the Property Council of Australia, which urges the government not to put koalas profits and lets them know that it will try to get laws to compensate landowners if development is hampered by koala protection.
The conflict between koalas and humans is due to the fact that koalas prefer forests growing in better soils, and most of these forests have been chopped down for agriculture and housing.
The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there a possibly as few as 43,000 koalas remaining in Australia. Koalas are a “vulnerable species” in NSW.
Anyone who has been in awe at the beauty of nature, its perfection of form and the delights it brings to the heart, the soothing of 21st century stress and upliftment of the soul would most likely have had the same response that I had while observing outrageously loud and wrecklessly fast racing cars shatter the silence as they ripped through the most pristine rainforests of Australia ....