Koala protection laws on Council’s agenda

Redland City koala

Koala protection is on Council’s agenda

Local laws for koala protection will be discussed by Redland City Council on Wednesday.

Changes to local laws to improve protection of koalas were instigated in April 2015, 16 months ago.

During a series of non-public workshops and general meetings councillors decided to expand identified koala area mapping to include five additional areas where dog owners would be required to secure their animals at night:

Council also decided to develop and implement a city-wide Behaviour Change Program aimed at reducing koala mortality from domestic dog attack.

The proposed changes to local laws to protect koalas were the subject of community consultation for 28 days during February and March 2016 which largely overlapped with the local government elections.

The proposed changes are an opportunity for councillors to reduce the risk of koalas being unnecessarily killed in Redland City.

The RSPCA unambiguously recommends that dogs (and cats) be confined at night in areas where wildlife is at risk. RSPCA Qld’s Senior Wildlife Veterinarian Dr Rebecca Millers recently said:

We’re urging everyone to keep their dogs inside at night time, particularly if they’re in koala inhabited areas.

Councillors should quickly implement these extra measures to protect koalas from dogs. Then they should move on to the critical issue of conserving koala habitat in Redland City through a combination of:

  • Local laws to better protect koala habitat (vegetation); and
  • Changes to the City’s planning scheme to reduce vegetation clearing.

A recent UQ report by a team led by Associate Professor Rhodes found koala population densities along Brisbane’s south-eastern suburbs dropped around 80% between 1996 and 2014.

State Environment Minister Dr Miles has said the “uncomfortable but clear message” from these statistics was that work to date had not guaranteed the koalas’ future in south-east Queensland.

“It might be that change, and possibly fundamental change, is needed,’’ he said.

Redland City Councillors have an opportunity to start the change process on Wednesday.

Alma Street units

24 Alma Street in Thorneside

24 Alma Street in Thorneside

Development application MCU 013446 for eight units in Thorneside will also be considered at Council’s meeting on Wednesday.

The original application for 12 units resulted in hundreds of objections. The revised application for eight units is still opposed by some local residents on various grounds including the proposed (revised) density of 1 unit per 378 m2 is higher than the ‘probable solution’ zoning for the area which is that the density not exceed 1 unit per 400m2.

This application is discussed in more detail in a separate Redlands2030 report.

Capalaba Bowls Club

Councillors will consider the Capalaba Bowls Club’s request for a lease surrender and renewal. The Club is seeking 30 years tenure so it can borrow money for various improvements including upgrades to car parking, undercover greens and the club facility.

Infrastructure

Cr Wendy Boglary will be putting the following motion to Council:

That the Local Government Association of Queensland lobby the State Government to ensure the State accepts its responsibility for the provision of transport, public transport and other vital infrastructure in areas designated by the State as growth regions rather than leaving much of the financial burden to local government.

Agenda

The meeting is at Council’s chambers in Bloomfield Street, on Wednesday 24 August commencing at 9:30 am. Here is a link to the meeting agenda.

Members of the public are able to observe the meeting from the public gallery.

 

Redlands2030 – 22 August 2016

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2 thoughts on “Koala protection laws on Council’s agenda

  1. I believe that in my lifetime (and it ain’t that long to go) I will witness the total loss of koalas in the Redlands.

    I just don’t believe that koalas and humans can co-exist. The top issues for koala loss are: habitat loss, cars, dogs and disease (often related to stress). All four are brought about by human intervention through residential development. We seem to believe that we can be half pregnant – have our house and cuddle a koala at the same time.

    Like most things it comes down to money. Money to secure the land needed to ensure survival of the species, free of the big 4. While millions of dollars mention for property acquisition might sound impressive, when measured against what you can buy for that money it soon becomes apparent that it is too little too late.

  2. Re changes to Local laws. The more things change the more they stay the same. Decades ago I asked a home owner to please secure the dog overnight so koalas can pass through yard safely to habitat trees and… reply was ‘It’s the dog’s yard!’ Easy to write a new local law but who is going to enforce it! Recently read in letter to 2030 Editor that a resident saw 2 koalas with their faces bitten off in Cleveland and further, in the new planning scheme, isn’t there also a new law whereby all mature trees within a certain distance of a fence, many now said to be out of line, have to be destroyed? Since most trees are closer to fences than houses, that also could mean koala habitat in suburbia disappearing. With 80% of our beloved marsupials now extinct, how much longer, with uncontrolled development, where seemingly there are no laws to say parkland, as in the past, has to be left for the community by the building industry, before remaining mainland koalas in Redlands have vanished? People everywhere are crying out seeing government bodies turning a blind eye in order for developers to make maximum profits from their estates, leaving nothing for the community where you see houses to within a foot or two from neighbouring ones and roadsides. Government provides some financial help to first home buyers but only in purchase of a newly built home that disappoints many people. One young couple felt they had no choice but to buy into a new estate in Thornlands but there are concerns, as with skimpy backyards, owning two dogs, can bring about neighbourhood complaints.