AT RISK: This female koala spotted recently at in GJ Walter Pk at Cleveland is now considered endangered. Photo: supplied.
A Redland koala advocate group has slammed the federal government for listing the species as endangered but not addressing the problems that led to their population decline.
On Friday, the federal government announced the status of koalas in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 had been upgraded from vulnerable to endangered in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
It comes just one week after the same government pledged $50 million in funding for the safeguarding of koala populations across Australia.
It is understood Queensland koala populations have at least halved since 2001 with drought, fires and deforestation, and the environment minister Sussan Ley hoped the endangered listing would highlight and help address threats to koala populations.
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Redland based Koala Action Group President Debbie Pointing said more effort from all levels of government was needed to protect Koalas on the bayside.
“Whilst KAG is relieved that the government has finally acknowledged that koalas are in dire straits in parts of Australia, the move to list them as ‘endangered’ only goes part of the way to address the devastating decline of koalas in the Redlands…” she said.
Ms Pointing recently argued that protecting the species would not save the Queensland koala population, and developments should be halted or re-evaluated to save their habitats.
She criticised developments at Toondah Harbour Karreman Quarries and the Birkdale Community Precinct, all projects she said would clear koala habitats and bring threats.
“The state government should terminate plans for 3,600 apartments at Toondah Harbour to prevent a massive increase in vehicle traffic from wiping out the healthy colony of koalas living in coastal areas of Cleveland,” Ms Pointing said.
“Federal environment minister Sussan Ley should reject Karreman Quarries plan to destroy another 50 hectares of koala habitat in Mount Cotton.
“Redland City Council should revise its vision for the Birkdale Community Precinct to focus primarily on making this public property a safe haven for koalas and other wildlife.”
She said koalas would soon be tourist drawcards for the Redlands, but only if they were protected.
“State planning and environmental protection laws should be amended urgently to protect existing koala trees in south-east Queensland including trees in urban areas where koala data proves that they live.”
“Redland City’s contribution to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics should be to ensure that in 2032 visitors to the Olympics can come to Redlands and see koalas in the wild.”