A MAJOR Ipswich housing development has caught the attention of the Australian Government.
As part of developer Sekisui House's ECCO Ripley development, a portion of land considered 'critical koala habitat' needs to be cleared.
A public notification period has just been opened for Ipswich residents to have their say on whether the development will have a significant impact on koalas living in the area.
The residential development covers 128 ha of land at Ripley, south of Ipswich CBD.
In 2010 the Ripley Valley was earmarked by the State Government for residential development.
But ECCO Ripley's proposal has caught the attention of the Federal Government's Environment Department.
In August 2015, the department requested more information from developers Bcove 4 Pty Ltd and Ripley Town Holdings, subsidiaries of Sekisui House.
The developer has now responded with a full report to address the Federal Government's concerns.
Within the executive summary, it says surveys of the area have shown the site is used by only a small number of koalas.
"While the project will result in the removal of some critical habitat, it is arguable that the project is not likely to have a significant impact on the Koala given the limited evidence of Koala activity in the area," the report reads.
"Evidence from targeted fauna surveys suggest that the site is potentially utilised at a low level by a small number of perhaps transient Koala individuals."
The report also says only 46.3 ha of 'critical habitat' will be cleared, 5300 koala habitat trees will be planted in the Bundamba Creek corridor, and one third of the whole site has been set aside.
That means 41.6 ha of the total 128 ha won't be cleared.
Read the full report online at www.saundershavill.com/eccoripley/
Submissions must be lodged before 5pm, June 30.
Written submissions should be addressed to ECCO Ripley Residential Development Project, 9 Thompson St, Bowen Hills, Queensland.
Readers are also invited to send their submissions to the QT at email@example.com.