NEW START: Councillor Stephen Robinson plants a tree at the Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve.
NEW START: Councillor Stephen Robinson plants a tree at the Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve. Contributed

Tree loss a bonus for Doonan koalas

KOALAS at the Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve have benefited to the tune of $970,000 because of a major Bruce Highway upgrade.

The federally-funded project, connecting Frizzo Rd with Sippy Creek Rd at Palmview, was subject to an environmental offset because the project area was mapped as likely to support koalas.

So for every tree cut down, five had to be planted in an area which could also support koalas.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said offset agreements attempted to compensate for the impact of unavoidable development and turn a negative into a positive.

"Thanks to the flora and fauna assessments that are carried out at as part of Sunshine Coast Council's environment levy reserve purchases, we know there is koala activity on this Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve, making it an ideal receiving site for this $970,000 offset," he said.

"Knowing what lives in our extensive environmental reserve network puts council in the best position to benefit from these unavoidable offsets and we are pleased we've been able to work with the State and Federal governments to achieve this win for the koalas."

Mayor Jamieson said the funding would provide koala habitat on 9.3ha of the 252ha environmental reserve and cover costs including planning for the project, planting trees, undertaking maintenance over the next five years and land access.

Division 9 councillor Stephen Robinson said this latest investment in the Doonan Creek Reserve, which the council purchased with environment levy funds in August 2013, would see the site become even more environmentally-significant.

"I'm really pleased one of the most significant areas in my division is being looked after for future generations," he said.

"The next step is to develop a long-term plan for the site which may well include potential educational opportunities.

"It is through education that we can all have a positive impact on the fauna and flora on our doorstep and have a better understanding of how to best preserve and protect what we have."


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