KOALAS BEAR GREAT FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL
ENVIRONMENT Minister Steven Miles has accused the former Newman government of ignoring scientific advice to upgrade the conservation status of at-risk species.
Announcing the “vulnerable” status of koalas would be extended across Queensland, Dr Miles said the former government had only accepted expert advice that recommended downgrading the status of certain species.
Koalas are already listed as vulnerable in the southeast corner but a committee of scientists found numbers across the state were not as stable as had been believed previously.
Dr Miles (pictured below) said the committee last year recommended the vulnerable listing for koalas be extended across the state but it was ignored by the Newman government.
“The committee made a range of recommendations on several hundred species,” he said.
“The previous government actioned those recommendations that would have seen delistings but didn’t action those that would have upgraded the listing.
“What you are seeing here is the Palaszczuk Government accepting the decision of the independent scientific process and endorsing their recommendation.”
The listing will require councils to con- sider the impact of development plans and approvals on koala survival.
However, Dr Miles played down the economic impact of the decision because “the koala is already listed as vulnerable under the Commonwealth’s processes”.
Dr Miles made the announcement with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre in Logan (main picture) which was celebrating its 20th anniversary yesterday.
“Everybody loves the koala,’’ Ms Palaszczuk said. “We must do everything possible to protect the koala now and into the future.”