Efforts to protect Redland koalas to get a $50mil funding boost – RCB

By February 6, 2022 June 2nd, 2022 Archive

Emily Lowe           FEBRUARY 6, 2022 – 10:00AM

HOLD ON TIGHT: A $50 million funding boost could help protect koalas in the Redlands.

More koalas will be safer in the Redlands with new funding to boost their protection and recovery.

The federal government announced $50 million in funding for efforts to safeguard koalas across Australia.

However, a Redlands koala advocate believes the money would be better spent saving their habitat and questioned if the Morrison government was “serious” about protecting koalas.

LNP Bowman candidate Henry Pike said the funding would go towards koala protection and recovery.

“The $50 million investment will enhance the protection of koalas by restoring habitat, improving our understanding of koala populations, supporting training in koala treatment and care, and strengthening research into health outcomes,” Mr Pike said.

“The koala is more than just an important part of our local environment. It’s our city’s symbol and also represents a huge eco-tourism economic opportunity for our region.”

Mr Pike said since the announcement of the Brisbane 2023 Olympics; koalas would become a drawcard for tourists.

“We need to be in a position to capitalise on our koalas as a unique selling point for the Redlands as the 2032 Olympics approaches and international attention turns towards our region.”

“This funding will bring together the best of the best researchers, land managers, veterinarians and citizen scientists to protect our koala populations,” Mr Pike said.

Koala Action Group President Debbie Pointing said she wanted the government to be clearer about where the money would be spent.

“If the Morrison government were actually serious about protecting koalas and recovering populations that have suffered devastating declines like in the Redlands, they would put in place a Koala Protection Act and recovery programs,” she said.

Koala advocate groups across Australia have campaigned for stronger legislation through a Koala Protection Act to focus on saving trees for habitats.

“It’s hard to see how a roomful of experts will make any difference if it’s anything like what we’ve seen previously where there’s been little or no action from government,” Ms Pointing said.

“At the end of the day, habitat loss is what is driving their decline and governments at all levels don’t want to accept that.”

Including the $50 million, the federal government has invested more than $74 million in koalas since 2019.