I find myself surprised and delighted that someone in a leadership role in South East Queensland has embraced the obvious.
Hats off to Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk who understands how our iconic koalas can make a huge impact to the local tourism economy.
As recently reported in the Brisbane Times, he intends to take full advantage of the opportunity by purchasing bushland, creating eucalypt food forests and setting up a $2 million koala research centre. Lord Mayor Quirk plans to make Brisbane and koalas as identifiable as Chengdu, China is with pandas.
I’m constantly appalled by the negativity and lip service our city seems to pay to these magnificent animals that are still in our back yards and in our streets (admittedly not many now).
If the leadership of our city can’t summon the necessary enthusiasm to really protect and elevate the status of koalas, then is it any wonder that the average resident is at best ambivalent about their plight.
It would be wonderful at best, sensible at worst, to have koalas seen as a valuable asset, and not as a nuisance to our friends the developers in the community. It appears to me that we’re putting the financial gains of the few ahead of the potential for benefit for the entire city.
I think it’s time that the councillors insisted on scrutiny of every single request for tree removal to ensure there are no creative approvals being awarded.
But there’s a long, long way to go in the Redlands , and precious little time.
I hope Mayor Quirk’s enlightened approach is contageous. Let’s all push again to keep, grow and value our koalas, and prosper with the help of our furry mates.