Gympie Koala Action Group urges residents to sign petition
Letter to the Editor
Many residents may not know this but in 2020 Gympie Regional Council won the Keep Australia Beautiful national award for Environmental Sustainability - Natural Environment Management.
Here is the announcement on their Facebook:
This award recognises the protection, conservation, and enhancement of the natural environment. In presenting this award the Keep Australia Beautiful organisation said:
“With claims that over 25% of koala habitat has been lost in Queensland as a result of this season’s fires, Gympie’s Koala ‘Habitat Protection Program’ is now even more important.
“The Gympie Region is in the enviable position of having several viable koala populations within its boundaries.
“Council adopted a Koala Conservation Management Plan to guide organisational and community action to ensure the long-term sustainability of Koala populations in the Gympie Region.
“The Gympie Regional Community worked directly and in conjunction with various Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations to create a program that identified and protected koalas in the region.
“Council also engaged the University of the Sunshine Coast Detection Dogs for Conservation to undertake koala surveys verifying the significant Koala populations and relied on Queensland University of Technology’s heat sensing drone technology to study koala populations at sites in Gympie’s Southside.
“To date, the program has been responsible for installing wildlife-friendly fencing that protects important natural areas while allowing fauna to move freely; undertaking surveys to verify koala populations; and using Koala Habitat Mapping to create koala habitat values overlay to ensure ecosystems supporting both koalas and other threatened species are protected.
“Additionally, the Southside Koala Habitat and Environment and Conservation Precinct (Corridor) Protection mapping program was incorporated to protect koala habitat and travel corridors; and interactive koala dashboard and story maps were developed allowing vital statistics to be updated immediately.”
Notably, when the awards were presented in an online awards ceremony on 15 October 2020, our local council was the only one in Australia that did not have a representative to acknowledge this award.
You can view the video of the “Keep Australia Beautiful awards 2020” on You Tube. (Go to 25:16)
This to me says that the decision to repeal the Temporary Local Planning Instruments previously included in our local planning scheme had been made well before it was put to a council meeting on 9 December 2020.
As a community we cannot let this total lack of support for anything to do with the environment go unchallenged. Please consider signing the online petition with change.org here.
Koala Action Gympie Region (KAGR)