KOALA SAFETY PRIORITISED WITH $5 MILLION BOOST
11th August 2021
Koala protection on the Sunshine Coast received a huge boost with the Palaszczuk Government committing $5 million to maintain critical koala fencing.
The fencing funding will cover TMR’s North Coast District, which stretches from Strathpine in the south to Pomona in the north, and west to Fernvale, Esk and Toogoolawah and surrounding areas.
Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said safeguarding koala populations and their habitat was important, particularly during the current breeding season.
"We want to continue creating safer habitats for koalas and have listened to the community," Mr Skelton said
“Koalas seeking mates tend to move around more during breeding season, so having well maintained fencing is so important to keep them off the roads and away from cars.
"This $5 million will support more regular inspections and maintenance of existing koala exclusion fencing in TMR’s North Coast region.
"Maintenance works will create a clear zone along koala exclusion fences and repair any holes that koalas or other wildlife might get through.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in some instances, trees close to the fence may need to be removed to prevent koalas using them to climb over the fence and onto the road
"To provide the clear zone, maintenance works will include clearing vegetation, trimming overhanging tree branches and spraying weeds growing on fences,” Mr Bailey said.
"A clear zone of three metres inside the fence line is needed to ensure its effectiveness and keep koalas safe, now and into the future.
“TMR crews started removing vegetation encroaching on the koala exclusion fence on the Bruce Highway between the Pine River and Caboolture back in May.
“This additional funding will allow them to inspect and repair fencing where needed across a wider area, with some sections requiring urgent attention already identified.”
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the barriers added to a record $1.4 billion investment by the Palaszczuk Government in the latest budget for the environment, and follows work by the Department of Environment and Science and TMR to trial koala shields, which are metal guards affixed to posts, along the M1 motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
“These shields prevent the claws of koalas and other nocturnal wildlife from gaining purchase on the poles,” Minister Scanlon said.
“It adds to a number of environmental initiatives as part of our roads investment on the Sunshine Coast, like new fauna underpasses as part of the Bruce Highway upgrade between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway.
“This trial has delivered very promising results. Not a single koala was able to climb past the shields and in a bonus result, a possum also tried and was unsuccessful.
“This work, and the work going forward to get these shields operational, will help koalas in southeast Queensland.”
For more information, contact TMR 5451 7055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.