Wildlife activists have condemned a new policy to relocate koalas from land earmarked for development.
Wildlife activists have condemned a new policy to relocate koalas from land earmarked for development.

Activists condemn koala relocation

A PROPOSED new policy to relocate koalas from land earmarked for development has been condemned by Ipswich wildlife activists.

State Government officials recently contacted members of the Koala Taskforce for their feedback on the “translocation policy” ahead of a workshop on the subject next month.

Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland State President and taskforce member Simon Baltais said moving koalas from one habitat to another was proven to not work.

Mr Baltais said koalas struggled to survive for long in other habitats, and there were question marks as to where they should be moved.

“The koalas will continue to suffer, it just won’t give them the bad publicity they get now when koala habitats are destroyed for development,” he said.

“The reason why koalas are heading towards extinction is because we keep clearing their habitat, a point seemingly lost on the State Government.

“Out-of-sight out-of-mind is the new policy of the day.”

With major upcoming developments in the Ripley Valley and Ebenezer, Ipswich Koala Protection Society Helen Darbellay said it was important the proposed policy was not adopted.

“You can’t relocate them at all, it has been proven not to work – you might as well just shoot them,” she said.

“What really worries us is the future of the koala habitat in the Ebenezer and Mount Forbes region, because it’s such an important region. Any place where we destroy that valuable habitat and move the koalas into other areas where they will quickly die is not good news.”

The Department of Environment and Resource Management said while they had relocated koalas from a Narangba habitat because of a council-approved development, they would not make it policy.

But an email from DERM Associate Director-General Terry Wall to Koala Taskforce members said Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones had agreed to DERM reviewing potential translocation policy.



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