Koala Conservation and Queensland Government Draft SE QLD Regional Plan 2009 to 2031

Koala Advocacy was reaching a critical level many years ago in SE Queensland. Draft South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions at bluecray Environmental Search.

I have tried to update this article a number of times. The Qld government appears to keep rearranging itself, its departmental responsibilities and Koala Habitat visions. I wonder now, if anyone there even knows what they are doing??? (SEE BELOW##). Perhaps, for more info, you could try searching the QLD GOVERNMENT .

{###(UPDATE 25th August 2010)I wrote an article more recently on Koalas – “I Will Protect You and Teach You” (30th July 2010) which has more recent Queensland Koala legislation, policy, ecology info. Also, see my article in Balance of Faeries blog – “I will Jail you and Feed you” – which is more about the NE NSW Koala situation concerning the Tweed Coast Koala Advisory Group. Koala populations in SE QLD and NE NSW  are still decreasing rapidly.} However, what I have written below will possibly still give you more background info… good luck!!!

Submissions are currently invited on two issues shown below: (click HERE for the link to these DETAILS at the QLD Department of Infrastructure and Planning)

* 1. The moratorium on clearing vegetation, part of the Draft South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions (PDF icon 151 KB). Submissions close 24 December 2009.
* 2. The biodiversity development offset area policy, part of the Proposed South East Queensland Koala Conservation State Planning Regulatory Provision (PDF icon 794 KB). Submissions close 1 December 2009.

Please remember, there are areas where Koalas are not deemed as important, within SE QLD Koala Mapping – some of these areas, West and South-West of  Brisbane, will now be seen as opportunities for inappropriate development, despite Koalas actually being present there. Koalas need these areas, deemed less important by government planning, for their health, and movement. It is important that inappropriate development in these areas doesn’t destroy what remaining koala “corridors” are in place, and the chance for future Koala “corridors” to be created and enhanced.

Recent Background:-

Back in the mid nineties, the Queensland and SE Qld Local Governments’ approved ongoing development processes were continuing the 20th century’s relentless rate of clearing & destroying coastal wetlands and Koala habitat areas. This rate was far from environmentally sustainable for future generations of South East Queensland, and indeed, the world.

Rates of development are currently still environmentally unsustainable, despite Ramsar Convention, Agenda 21 and protection of threatenend species and ecological communities at various levels of government ( SE QLD ; NE NSW ; AUST ).

Koalas have long been a political and development “football”, and now issues of relocation,  infrastructure development, and conservation / habitat status are again being re-defined by governments and “scientists” throughout the Mt Warning Caldera Region.

Now that we have almost completed our first decade of the 21st Century, the environmental law capacities of the combined Australian Governments have vastly increased. They have become much more complex, supported by an array of GIS and mapping data, studies, scientific processes and protocols.

Study after study has been completed. Map after map has been produced.

Regional Planning instruments have multiplied faster than wire coathangers in a wardrobe, AND  YET – Koala corridor after corridor is still being destroyed, even as I write this article. And,  -  more elections and regional plans are looming!

Dedicated on the ground Koala carers, hard working community groups, well meaning scientific researchers, and informed environmental legal advisors have gradually impacted on the Government. There still remains

  • developer trends to clear land in a wholesale manners
  • government trends to implant infrastructure as a necessity that over-rides environmental sustainability
  • increasingly complex regional planning documents.

The Queensland Government has closed the comments for the new Koala Planning Regulation provisions, but the Draft QLD Government SEQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 is still open for submissions. Workshops around SE Qld have been held, and are still being held.

Invitations for Comment closed for the SEQ Koala State planning regulatory provisions on Feb 27th. Information concerning these Koala Planning Provisions for SE QLD appears to be in the hands of the  Queensland State Government Department of Infrastucture and Planning .

Regional Workshops and Articles:-

**Qld Department of Infrastructure and Planning : DRAFT Qld Government SE QLD Regional Plan 2009 – 2031 Submissions close on April 3rd 2009.

There is, however……. A PLAN… yes, another PLAN!!! The National Koala Conservation Strategy !

And so, summing up, and I am sure that I have missed lots of links and info, but have a search around, and you are sure to find what you need. Just be tenacious.

1.The Koala’s well being in SE QLD appears to be in the hands of Qld Planning and Infrastructure.

2.As I mentioned above, there is a new SEQ Regional Plan for 2009-2031 being put together now, in its DRAFT form and submissions are still open.

3.The Australian Government has a National Koala Conservation Strategy, but does not actually protect the Koala by Legislation.

4.The Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency acts under legislation listed at this Link:  Legislation .

5.The KOALA is recognised by the Queensland Government under the Nature Conservation Koala Conservation Plan 2006

6.The key Koala Corridors of the old Beaudesert Shire and Boonah Shires – Now the Scenic Rim Regional Council – have been left out of these reasonably new SEQ Koala Plan documents due to the KOALA populations, distribution and Planning guidelines.

**Draft South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions at the Qld Department of Infrastructure and Planning. You can view Maps here, documents etc concerning the future direction of Queensland Government Development protocols and the threat to Existing Threatened Koala Populations of South East Queensland. Keep all this in mind if you are commenting on the new SEQ REGIONAL PLAN 2009-2031. The Koala Maps provided by the website of the Qld Department of  Infrastructure & Planning seemed  exceedingly frustrating to read, over technically presented, and are extremely slow to load if you do not have high speed internet!

Ipswich Koala Protection Society – (IKPS) – wild life rescue, image gallery, how you can help Koalas of the Ipswich Region, and LINKS

##PLEASE NOTE : The Links  that do not appear to work anymore are mainly the QLD EPA LINKS. The Google search engine now resends many of the links to the  DEPARTMENT of  ENVIRONMENT & RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.

And so, what we appear to have is a sudden change in where all the KOALA information can be found, concerning recent internet public information on the KOALA in Queensland.

When this article was written, the Department of Planning and Infrastructure appeared to be holding much of the information about planning for the KOALA 2009.   Here is the current (October 2009) info available at the QLD Dept. Planning & Infrastructure KOALA PAGES . It shows timetables for the events surrounding Koala Planning 2008-2009 and the Queensland Governments State Planning Policy.

Also, it shows how this Department (QLD DIP)  is responsible for introducing interim development controls, updating the SEQ Regional Plan Section2.2 Koala Conservation and “fast-tracking the development of a state planning policy for koala conservation in SEQ, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Resource Management.”

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Remember: The Queensland Government Environmental Protection Agency has a copy of the KOALA Conservation Plan 2006 for the Management of Koalas in SE QLD 2006-2016. In this Plan, the Koala appears to be left out of consideration within  Scenic Rim Regional Council Areas. This statement is now obsolete, as the EPA appears to have disappeared from the QLD Government to be replaced by the Department of Environment & Resource Management. Talk about keeping people confused! This is amazing. No wonder the Poor Koala is disappearing and facing entrapment in this region, when the Government Land Stewards can’t even show consistency in their own organisation.

And you should see what is happening just over the border on the Tweed Coast , NE NSW, concerning KOALAS. It is ongoing development that appears to be relentlessly and carelessly repeating the mistakes of the SE QLD non sustainable Development agendas of the past two decades.

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***”New nominations for species and ecological communities will be assessed under the EPBC Act by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) according to the criteria for the new categories and listed accordingly. The TSSC will reconsider the status of the initial list of threatened species and communities in line with the new refined EPBC categories as information is updated and made available for assessment” from  : EPBC ACT LIST of Threatened Species

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And where is the KOALA?????

Phantom Koala and Benoit compare biodiversity with moneybags. They decide that biodiversity fills the world with beautiful things, and moneybagsmakes lots of dangerous empty spaces full of machinery and bare earth

Phantom Koala and Benoit compare biodiversity with moneybags. They decide that biodiversity fills the world with beautiful things, and moneybagsmakes lots of dangerous empty spaces full of machinery and bare earth

“A preliminary investigation of the distribution of koalas and their potential habitat in the Tweed Shire, and implications for management”  by Judy Faulks . Find article at – Australian Zoologist, June 1991 Vol. 27(1 & 2). Whilst this investigation was in NE NSW, there are implications for Koala populations in SE QLD, so why not have a read!.

9-07-2009

Phantom Koala (PK) articles  at  Bluecray Balance of Faeries blog  &  Bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog :  there may be some more useful links here in these articles:

LINKS:

thekoala.com – simply presented koala information for the lay person or young student

Koala at Wikipedia

Koala Research at the Environmental Protection AgencyQLD Government

Griffith University : Griffith Research online – The Research and Management of Non Urban Koalas – oops, couldn’t find it!!!

Koala research LINKS : at Koala research site

Koala Links : at koala research site (I contacted this research team, a number of weeks back, for more information to put into my articles, but have yet to receive an answer)

My own personal  experiences with Koalas and Koala advocates includes having shared habitat with them on the Marburg Range, west of Brisbane, Qld  for many years.  Living between the Nightcap National Park and the Whian Whian Forests – Fox Road, Rosebank, Lismore Shire. And living at  Upper and Lower Beechmont in the Hinterland of the Gold Coast.

Koalas have come to my door, talked to me from the trees. I have watched them eat leaves from trees that are not on  koala tree lists, watched them climb trees that are not on any koala tree lists, talked to volunteers that have released Koalas into the Scenic Rim Regional Council Area (old Beaudesert Shire), talked and worked with Koala carers, scientists and advocates who have testified in Court on behalf of Koala’s when Highways have been built through the SE QLD Region. I have also talked with wildlife workers who have worked with entrapped Koala Populations on the Gold Coast, SE Qld.

My art for Phantom Koala (PK) was conceived many years ago, as a vehicle to explore and portray the Koala as an animal that is largely misunderstood, romanticised, politicised and exploited for monetary gain.

“A Balance of Faeries” 1989 by al at bluecray.org – a story about habitat clearing, Koalas, and how little by little, the Koala Habitat clearing in SE Queensland has  implications for more than Koalas

If you look at the trend for infrastructure development within the SE Qld Region, there will be a focus to develop the west of the Brisbane metropolitan region. Infrastructure of vaste arterial road systems and associated developments will occur, and if the KOALA is not included within any protective legal mechanism, this will mean a halt to Koala Population travel along the current, already fragmented “corridors” west of Brisbane and Logan Cities and the Urban Development to the Qld border and into NE NSW. The Old Shire of Boonah and Beaudesert (Scenic Rim Regional Council) are in this region, as is Ipswich City Council . To the south of the Border, in NSW, lie the Tweed Shires, Kyogle Shires and Lismore City Council areas.

****example of proposed development areas west of BRISBANE:- “Supercity plan to cope with population growth in southeast Queensland” – as told by the Courier Mail May 2010 – “The ULDA will now take planning control for the identified areas from the Ipswich and Logan councils to assess their capacity to deliver more than 100,000 new homes.”****

  • Entrapment of Koalas in fragmented, localised, often non biodiverse vegetation communitites and habitats logically can cause stress, and much work on the part of caring koala workers , to maintain their upkeep.
  • Koalas do not read maps, understand planning documents, line up willingly at scientific or ecological expert’s offices and ask to have trackers put onto them, or be examined (even if this is done “with care”).
  • Koalas do not understand state borders, council boundaries or roadside signage.
  • Koalas do not line up to be taken to zoos, be cuddled by people eager to have their photo taken with them.
  • Koalas do not form lines in eager anticipation of  being rescued, when engineers of infrastructure, mines and housing developments bring in bulldozers and large mass destruction machinery.
  • Koalas have, however, been documented to run extremely long distances, under stress, when released into unkown habitat areas.
  • Koalas have been documented to come to people, when they need help.

If you have read to the end of this article, I congratulate you. It is, indeed, a very long article. But it barely scratches the surface of what is required to help Koalas of the Mt Warning Caldera Region.

Become informed, listen to your heart and  try not to become exhausted by the  rigidity & rigmarole of bureaucracy.

Above all, inspire others to create a world where  “laws” to protect these beautiful and unique animals are no longer necessary, due to increased respect for  Natural Law and true custodianship and stewardship of  of Koala habitat in Australia.

Back in the 1990′s I was involved in a number of different community environmental initiatives – landcare co-ordinator, ACF Gold Coast Inc. committee member / campaigner  and  ICM Committees (Lockyer Ck SEQ & Loders Ck SEQ) rep.

Community environmental education and activities that I engaged in included:

  • Government policy planning
  • lobbying for Koala corridor linkages
  • vegetation mapping
  • community workshops
  • land & water  management issues
  • development forums
  • roadside management
  • habitat fragmentation

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