News - 31 August 2020
Your Voice Is Helping To Save SEQ's Koalas
The changes include:
- A revised target to achieve a net GAIN in koala habitat—this means no more backwards steps in overall habitat extent;
- A 10-fold increase to the habitat restoration target;
- A commitment to implement ten threat reduction programs to combat dog attacks, disease and vehicle strikes;
- Providing a process for community members and local councils to nominate koala habitat that should be protected;
- Establishing an expert group to independently assess nominations and amendments to habitat mapping; and
- Publicly releasing progress made towards each target on an annual basis which is essential for good accountability and transparency.
This Strategy has been years in the making after research showed that SEQ koala populations were rapidly dying out with declines of up to 80% recorded in some areas over the past 20 years. The Queensland Government committed to take action to halt these declines by developing a Koala Conservation Strategy for SEQ and establishing a Koala Advisory Council to provide expert advice on the Strategy.
We are a proud member of the Koala Advisory Council and have pushed hard from the inside to get the strongest possible protections for koalas and their habitat.
But our voice alone was not enough. We’ve helped thousands of everyday people get their thoughts heard too with well over half of the submissions on the draft Strategy coming from our supporters.
Faced with the overwhelming power of those collective voices, the Government has now taken many of our recommendations onboard. The most important is an increase in koala habitat extent, giving everyday people the opportunity to nominate koala habitat to be protected and improving public transparency.
These are significant improvements that were only made possible because thousands of people stood up to say saving koalas matters.
But we’re not stopping here. We are continuing our work through the Koala Advisory Council to insist on ambitious action, oversee the implementation of the Strategy, hold the Government to account and, of course, push for further improvements.
Plus, South East Queensland is home to only a small proportion of the state’s koalas. So, we’re also insisting that work start immediately on mapping koala habitat and putting in strong protections for koalas and the trees they rely on across the state.