Brian Williams 1 Dec 2016, 12:30 p.m.
LADIES, CAN YOU HEAR ME: This big male koala bellows his mating call from a tree on Shore Street East. US visitors were thrilled to see these animals in the wild.
A SHELDON resident has called on Redland City Council to rethink the Toondah Harbour expansion and development in surrounding areas in an effort to save koala trees.
Jennifer Anthony said the Toondah ferry terminal should be revamped but the environment should not be trashed in the process.
KOALA WATCH: Visitors watch koalas at Shore Street East and Wharf Street, near G.J. Walter Park. This tree (on a block likely to be developed) will not be immediately impacted by the Toondah development but increased traffic will threaten all wildlife.
Ms Anthony said friends visiting from New York and interstate wanted to see koalas and she knew just where to find them.
“We were proud to be able to show them four healthy koalas in their natural environment in Cleveland,’’ Ms Anthony said.
“To quote our American friends, they were ‘blown away’ by seeing these robust and healthy koalas in the wild and boasted about their experience (by) posting their koala photos on Facebook,’’ she said.
Ms Anthony said that when the visitors were told the trees that the male and female koalas were in would likely be felled, their delight turned to despair.
They asked if the local authority could be contacted to save the trees. “I have subsequently written to Redland City Council,’’ she said.
Mayor Karen Williams said trees at the corner of Shore Street East and Wharf Street were not within the footprint of the proposed Toondah Harbour upgrade.
“Koala trees are covered by the state government’s koala State planning regulatory provisions, which stipulate that any koala trees removed must be offset either by the planting of other trees or a financial contribution to council that is then used to plant koala trees in strategic locations across the city,’’ she said.
“Trees on the north east corner have no current applications that would see them removed.
“Under the current Toondah Harbour proposal G.J. Walter Park will remain and there will be four times more green space.’’
Ms Anthony said a survey in August conducted by the Koala Action Group found 19 koalas in the Cleveland-Toondah-GJ Walter Park area and every remaining mature tree was vital.
“Tourism can flourish without massive billion dollar developments such as Toondah Harbour,’’ she said.