By Rose Astley
The Palaszczuk Government have announced that they are moving to increase the koala protection areas to 570,000 hectares of bushland in the South East.
Nearly three quarters of koala habitat destruction has seen the koala population plummet up to 80% since 1980.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday announced the plan at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, claiming that now is a better time than ever to act.
“New mapping identifies more than 570,000 hectares of land to be declared koala priority areas – an area that is twice the size of the ACT – of which more than 300,000 hectares is core habitat.
“We are proposing to implement stronger regulations to limit clearing in these large interconnected areas of high quality habitat.
“Ensuring the protection of these large corridors of land will address one of the main causes of a declining koala population, which is the destruction of habitat,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queenslanders are encouraged to have their say on the draft, as 150,700 hectares have been identified as private land, and will be able to have their say until January 31 2020.
The proposed area includes the Noosa region, as far west as Toowoomba, and just south of the Gold Coast.
“We have a once in a generation chance to ensure their survival in the South East and that is why we are asking every Queenslander to get involved,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The consultation period for the South East Koala Conversation Strategy 2019-24 will end January 31, 2020.