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How Ipswich City Council is protecting koalas

Koalas are one of Australia’s most loved and iconic animals, but they are facing many threats, including habitat loss, across all areas of Queensland.

But Ipswich City Council is taking steps to ensure the city’s koala population (and their trees) are being preserved for future generations. 

Council continues to work towards a sustainable future that balances human interaction with environmental impacts and adapts to a changing climate.

“We’re working to preserve our existing green spaces that make Ipswich a great place to live and work, while also managing future development to make sure there is room for people, green space, and animals to live together in our city,” Mayor Teresa Harding said.

“Ipswich is Queensland’s fastest growing city and council is working hard to make sure we manage that growth to ensure there is green space and plenty of trees.

“We’re doing this in a few ways, including significant conservation land purchases, advocacy for better legislative protection and the delivery of programs that build strong community partnerships.”

Over the past 25 years council has purchased large tracts of conservation land in vital koala and wildlife corridors to maintain connections and to give wildlife space to move.

This includes 2,600 hectares in White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate and 2,200 hectares in Flinders – Goolman Conservation Estate. 

Council has also purchased over 1,000 hectares at Mt Grandchester / Woolshed in the Little Liverpool Range.

Council’s participation in the South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy (adopted by the State Government) has secured more Koala Priority Areas (KPAs) in areas like Purga, Mt Forbes, Mt Walker and Pine Mountain as well as stronger protection of habitats that are identified in Council’s Koala Conservation Habitat Management Plan.

Environment and Sustainability Committee Chair Councillor Russell Milligan said council is working collaboratively and transparently with all stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcome for South East Queensland’s koala population.

“Council is working with the State Government and other local governments to implement the South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy which includes the delivery of programs aimed at reducing koala road mortalities, dog attacks and raising community awareness,” Cr Milligan said.

“Council is advocating for a proposed change to the koala’s status from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ in the Australia-wide listing.

“There is also a discussion paper and consultation opportunity from the Commonwealth Government regarding the Draft National Recovery Plan for the koala and council will be providing comment on this plan to propose greater protection of koalas and key habitat.”

As part of council’s Enviroplan initiative, there are several partnerships available between landholders and council which encourage and assist Ipswich’s landholders to manage, enhance and protect ecosystems to conserve flora and fauna on their properties.

“Ipswich City Council has a number of programs that are aimed at working with landholders as about 80 per cent of Ipswich’s koala populations are on privately owned land,” Cr Milligan said.

“Council offers support for revegetation projects which are a joint effort to restore and improve land and waterways and increase habitat for native animals including koalas.”

For more information on koala conservation visit the Ipswich City Council website here

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