Koalas set to be reintroduced to Brisbane bushland, including at Mt Coot-tha Reserve – ABC

By February 28, 2024 News

ABC Radio Brisbane by Jack McKay
28 February 2024
The LNP administration has announced the new conservation effort ahead of the March council election.

(ABC Radio Brisbane: Jack McKay)

• In short: LNP Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced the initiative to reintroduce koalas ahead of the council election.
• The council is in partnership with the University of Queensland and has committed $800,000 towards the conservation push.
• What’s next: Mr Schrinner says he is looking forward to koalas being reintroduced in the identified areas as soon as possible.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner is promising to reintroduce koalas to bushland sites across Brisbane in a new push from the LNP administration to conserve the species.

Ahead of the March poll, Mr Schrinner announced the council was partnering with the University of Queensland on a koala reintroduction program at a cost of $800,000 over the next four years.
The sites that will be considered for the reintroduction of koalas include the Mount Coot-tha Reserve, the Karawatha Reserve, and the Marstaeller Road Reserve at Mount Crosby.

The Bayside Parklands at Wynnum, Manly, and Lota will also be investigated as a possible option for the return of koalas.
“They’re the four initial sites where there is great quality bushland and lots of room to range,” Mr Schrinner said.
“What that means is that bushland areas, like Mount Coot-tha where there are low populations or where there are no longer koalas, people will start to see koalas in those areas.
“We’re looking forward to getting started on the four new areas as soon as possible.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says the council wants koalas reintroduced in these areas as soon as possible.(ABC Radio Brisbane: Jack McKay)

Mr Schrinner indicated the koalas that would be reintroduced to these areas would likely be those that had previously been taken in and treated at koala hospitals.

He said the areas had been deliberately chosen due to their safety in a bid to prevent vehicle strikes.
“We are really fortunate to have koalas living so close to the Brisbane CBD,” Mr Schrinner said.

“It would be hard to find other parts of Australia where you have such healthy koala populations living so close to a CBD in suburban areas.”

The LNP administration is also promising to deliver 10 new wildlife awareness monitors to alert motorists to slow down around areas with wildlife.

Greens want habitat corridor improvements Greens lord mayoral candidate Jonathan Sriranganathan said reintroducing and strengthening koala populations was a “positive move”.

But he also wants habitat corridors better protected within Brisbane so koalas can move safely between bushland reserves.

“Moving koalas around the city like pieces on a chessboard is no substitute for actually creating new bushland reserves and strengthening connections between remnant patches of forest,” he said.

Greens lord mayoral candidate Jonathan Sriranganathan wants habitat corridors better protected in Brisbane.(ABC Radio Brisbane: Kenji Sato)

Over the weekend, Labor’s lord mayoral candidate Tracey Price announced an “urban wildlife” policy that she is taking to the election, including a pledge to plant two million trees.

“A council I lead will work hand-in-hand with many creek conservation, and bush care groups right across Brisbane’s suburbs to make sure they are supported to continue doing the amazing work they do,” Ms Price said.