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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
    The Honourable Kate Jones


    Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Thursday, July 22, 2010


    In an unprecedented move to protect koala habitat in south east Queensland, the State Government has begun signing off on koala nature refuges in the region.

    Acting Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk today visited a private property in Brookfield, in Brisbane’s outer west, where one of the first two koala nature refuges will be established.

    Ms Palaszczuk, presenting the signed Conservation Agreement to landholder Christine Hosking, said the four-hectare bushland property would be known as Kuta Koala Nature Refuge.

    “Koala nature refuges are a vital part of the Bligh Government’s comprehensive Koala Response Strategy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Run in parallel with our program to acquire properties in south east Queensland, our refuge program offers financial incentives to private landholders to rehabilitate and maintain the properties as safe koala habitat.

    “The program was established in recognition that the community can play an important role in preserving the koala population in SEQ alongside Government and councils.

    “Landholder Ms Hosking is planning to use the funding of $5,630 to re-plant trees on the property that were destroyed in the storms which hit Brisbane’s western suburbs in November 2008.

    “Her nature refuge adjoins Mt Coot-tha forest and provides a continuation of the remnant eucalypt forest dominant across the majority of the property.

    “It’s hard to say how many koalas call Kuta home, as koalas do not reside in one place but frequently move across and through large areas.

    “The existing canopy of eucalyptus, corymbia and angophora trees provides an excellent habitat for the koalas to maintain this natural pattern of behaviour.

    “The property is currently mapped as low and medium value bushland under the State Government’s major koala habitat mapping project.”

    The second refuge is a 10-hectare property at Grandchester, near Ipswich, known as Bowman Nature Refuge where landholder Justin Bowman will receive $9,995 to plant 1,000 koala habitat trees.

    Ms Palaszczuk also presented Ms Hosking – who is currently completing her PhD on modelling priority koala habitat areas in Queensland under future climate change – with a Certificate of Conservation Achievement.

    “I congratulate Ms Hosking on her enormous contribution and commitment to the conservation of koalas by establishing a nature refuge on her property,” she said.

    “In addition to koalas, Kuta Koala Nature Refuge is habitat for the tusked frog, powerful owl and the near-threatened grey goshawk.”

    Ms Palaszczuk said under voluntary agreements the Koala Nature Refuges Program was recruiting properties of key strategic value for koalas.

    “State funding of $4 million was available in the first round of the program for properties that met the criteria for a Koala Nature Refuge,” she said.

    “The funding can be used to re-vegetate the land with koala habitat trees, for wildlife-friendly fencing to aid koala movement and safety and other koala conservation activities.

    “The program will contribute to the Government’s long-term target to expand koala habitat in south east Queensland.

    “The State Government received a high level of interest in its first round of the Koala Nature Refuges Program and the Koala Habitat Acquisition Program launched in February this year.

    “Expressions of interest were received from people interested in selling their properties for koala conservation and 29 applications for koala nature refuges are currently being actively progressed or assessed.

    “If all 29 nature refuge proposals are successful, an additional 2,900 hectares of new koala nature refuge will be protected.

    “I am excited by the initial level of interest shown by landholders across south east Queensland towards protecting habitat and preserving our beloved koala population.

    “Other measures undertaken by the State Government to protect the SEQ koala population include handing down the toughest koala planning measures ever implemented in Australia, providing $400,000 for koala disease research, retrofitting road hot spots to make them more koala friendly, and providing a model local law for councils to introduce tougher restrictions on domestic dogs in koala habitat.”

    More information about the Koala Nature Refuges Program is available from the DERM website


    22 July, 2010
    MEDIA CONTACT: 3239 0824