Planning a better future for South East Queensland Koalas

Published Tuesday, 28 July, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

The Koala Coast will be offered additional protection through the South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP) 2009-2031 launched by Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe today (Tuesday July 28).

Mr Hinchliffe said almost 900 hectares (ha) or land previously earmarked for future development in Thornlands and Southern Redland Bay would now be protected – the equivalent of more than 1300 rugby league football fields.

He said despite ongoing pressure from developers the State Government had changed the final SEQ Regional Plan to drop the Thornlands Future Growth Area and the Southern Redland Bay Identified Growth Area, boosting the land available for koala habitat and rehabilitation.

“South east Queenslanders have made it very clear they want their open spaces protected not plundered,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

“They simply won’t accept urban sprawl that eats away at the region’s green lungs and impacts on our enviable way of life.

“One of our first steps in ensuring the protection of local open spaces has been the removal of 570 ha from the Urban Footprint in the Thornlands area.

“In addition, the 300ha Southern Redland Bay Identified Growth Area has been removed from the plan, limiting further urban expansion in Redlands.’

“This land will act as a buffer zone to protect the high value koala habitat in the area and in the future can become new koala habitat.”

In Thornlands Boundary and Taylor Roads form the northern and western borders of the site. The south Redland Bay land parcel stretches from Lagoon View Road west to the Koala Conservation Area.

Mr Hinchliffe said the SEQ Regional Plan outlines the commitment to install a new State planning policy for koala conservation, which will be guided by the policy direction established within the plan. A draft is being prepared and will be released for consultation in late 2009.

He said koala populations in the region would be enhanced through a combination of protections, management and habitat preservation that reflect Government commitments made through the release of the Koala Response Strategy.

“The Government remains committed to increasing and regenerating koala habitat by 2020, and the new Koala State Planning Policy is expected to be in place by the end of the year,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The SEQ Regional Plan also contains an updated koala habitat values map to assist with koala friendly main road upgrades and influence dog control laws to further protect koala populations throughout the region.’’

He said in recognition of Redland’s environmental values, the region was also being given a smaller share of the region’s total growth.

“Redland City typifies the smart growth principles contained in the plan as more than 70 per cent of its new housing will be from redevelopment or infill so environmental areas and rural lands can be maintained and koalas protected,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The regional plan only directs three per cent of new dwellings to Redland City Council and the region’s current allocation of regional growth is unchanged from that outlined in the 2004 SEQ regional plan.

“All other Greater Brisbane councils will gain a much higher share including Brisbane (21%); Moreton Bay (12%) and Logan (8%).’’

Mr Hinchliffe said the SEQ Regional Plan struck a balance between population growth and the need to protect the lifestyle of the south east by guiding development patterns.

“The plan clearly highlights the State Government’s commitment to protecting green space and looking after the South East Queensland we all love,’’ he said.

“Overall, this green plan will ensure South East Queensland is managed in a sustainable way by reducing the region’s ecological footprint while enhancing its economy and resident’s quality of life.’’

Member for Capalaba Michael Choi said it was good to see the government taking further positive action to enhance koala numbers in the Redland region.

“The State Government has already been addressing this important issue through the SEQ Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions.

“The further positive action in the SEQ Regional Plan is very welcome and will hopefully see koala numbers stabilise in the near future.”

To view comprehensive koala habitat values mapping visit

Media contact: Minister’s office on 07 3224 8750