Sunday, June 26, 2022

Koalas will get crores in funding, but a leading lawyer says we really need more trees

The Queensland government has allocated approximately $40 million to protect native animals across the state, with much of it to be spent on koalas.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said about $25 million would be devoted to protecting and restoring koala populations in the Southeast.

“We have never had a plan as comprehensive as our protection plan for koalas in the south-east of Queensland, where we certainly have the largest koala population in our state,” he said.

Koalas were declared “endangered” in Queensland, New South Wales and ACT earlier this year by the federal government following loss of populations due to climate change, land clearing and disease.

Environment Minister Meghan Scanlon said the funding will expand the state’s koala habitat restoration program, help reduce threats to koalas in hotspots, support the development of the Koala Vision app to collect population data for communities, Will invest in ongoing scientific research and support on the ground. Negotiation Project.

However, Deborah Tabart of the Australian Koala Foundation said the new funding was a “band-aid solution”, which did not address the real reason that koalas were in danger.

“If you don’t stop the trees from falling, our koalas are doomed,” she said.

Ms Tabart said south-east Queensland has lost nearly 50,000 koalas over the past 25 years.

“The southeast Queensland koala could have been saved if everyone had done it right 20 years ago, and it hadn’t been cut down on trees,” she said.

The Australian Koala Foundation is asking the state government to enact the Koala Conservation Act, which will create legislation to protect koala habitats.

Crackle the koala gets a check-up as part of Currumbin Wildlife Hospital’s vaccination program.,Laura LaValle / ABC ,

Diseases threaten the koala population

About $2 million of the new funding will be split between Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Hospital.

Mr Dick said the Kurumbin Wildlife Hospital, which cares for more than 500 koalas annually, had made a significant contribution to helping fight diseases that were “becoming endemic in koala populations.”

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