Redland City Council has submitted draft new local laws for consultation up until 8 October.
This was the subject of a Redlands2030 post titled: Will changes to local laws affect you?
One of the most contentious proposals in the draft new local laws is removal of Koala Management Areas and associated dog controls from Local Law Number 2.
Jan Cox, a concerned Redlands resident, has made a submission to the Council about this issue. She has decided to make her submission publicly available via Redlands2030 and it is reprinted below.
Mayor Karen Williams and all Redlands Councillors,
I am deeply concerned about the proposed changes to the draft Local Law No 2 Animal Management, the impact these laws will have on the remaining koala population in the Redlands and expect you to cancel these proposed devastating changes. We in the Redlands are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to live with wild koalas at our back doors – literally! As part of the body of voters who elect you to care for our city, I expect you to do everything possible to preserve our precious wildlife, especially such an icon as the koala and not introduce laws that will aid their destruction.
My family is lucky to live next to a small corridor of remnant bushland and we see and hear koalas quite frequently, especially during the breeding season. When visitors arrive, they are astonished to see koalas in our local gum trees as most have never previously seen a wild koala! What a tourism opportunity! Why aren’t we doing more for Redlands sustainability and encouraging tourists to enjoy our iconic, precious wildlife?
I am at a loss to think why these changes are even proposed. Who will benefit? Certainly not the wildlife. If people are lucky enough to live on large blocks in koala areas, then they can certainly bear the responsibility of ensuring their dogs are restrained at night. This is to ensure the safety of all the wildlife – possums and wallabies etc.
I thank you for the opportunity to make comment on the draft Local Law No.2 Animal Management and request that the following points in my submission are considered:
• It is estimated that fewer than 2000 koalas remain in the Koala Coast area and fewer than 900 in the Redlands.
• More than 600 koalas have been attacked by dogs over the past 15 years in Redland City mainland and on North Stradbroke Island.
• More than 80% of those koalas died as a result of their injuries including numerous mothers and babies.
• Protection of koalas from domestic dogs is a threat that we can manage by responsible pet ownership.
• The overnight restraint of pet dogs either inside, on a verandah/deck or tethered would prevent the majority of dog attacks on koalas.
• I support the overnight restraint of dogs in a suitable manner including keeping them on an enclosed verandah/deck, bringing indoors or tethering with a lead or chain.
• I request that Council retain the current “Koala Management Areas” and extend them to include other areas identified from Koala Hospital records as having a history of dog-related koala mortalities.
Please, think carefully about these proposals. We cannot afford to lose any more of our precious koalas.
Jan Cox, concerned Redlands voter