Friday, June 21, 2024

Council land sales climb for koalas

Moreton Bay Regional Council claims it has saved 62 hectares of key koala and wildlife habitat that could have otherwise been developed into up to 14 lots of residential housing, thanks to its Land Buyback for Environmental Purposes program.

Mayor, Peter Flannery said the property at Closeburn was Council’s largest property purchase to date and would quadruple the program’s green networks to a total of 83 hectares of land purchased since it was introduced in 2020, as it aims to ‘Green as we Grow’ over the coming decades.

“Moreton Bay’s human population is set to increase by roughly 40% over the next 20 years, so we’re ramping up our efforts to lock away key habitat for preservation now before it’s too late,” he said.

“This rural-residential property at Closeburn could have been subdivided into a possible 2-14 lots, but instead it will be preserved and maintained by Council so that koalas, gliders, kangaroos and many more priority species will have a home in Moreton Bay forever.

“Roughly 50% of the property is already covered with vegetation suitable for koalas and we’ll get to work planting more trees here so that it can support even more wildlife species.

“Perhaps the best aspect of this property is that it connects two existing Council nature reserves at Dobson Road and Jagera Court to effectively create a 90-hectare reserve to extend the Closeburn wildlife corridor.

“That means these animals will be able to pass through this area and into other green corridors without any harm or human interference.”

He said Council is also looking at ways to increase the power of the program through 2022-23 Budget, which will be released on 17 June.

“As we purchase more properties through this program we will unlock and connect more and more green corridors to make Moreton Bay a much safer place for our local wildlife to live,” the Mayor said.

“We have no plans of slowing down either as we turn our focus to future acquisitions that will help increase our green corridors and we’re looking at ways to increase our green networks further through the 2022-23 Budget.

“All acquisitions made under this program are willingly agreed to with the property owner and we are targeting properties that currently don’t have houses on them.”

Councillor Darren Grimwade (Div 11) said the purchase was a big win for the environment and also for residents who have been calling for more nature positive initiatives.

“Lake Samsonvale is the heart of Moreton Bay’s koala cradle where we’re hoping to grow our koala population and this new Land Buyback property will help support that,” he said.

“We are planting thousands of koala and native wildlife habitat trees all around this area and this site will be ensure more places for all wildlife to enjoy.

“Residents have been telling us they want to see more done to protect our wildlife and nature corridors and we’ve listened – this will not only protect those corridors but help grow them.  

“This was a key criterion when we put the Land Buyback Policy together and we identified ecological priorities using science-based modelling.

“It would’ve been a real shame to see this beautiful property subdivided into rural-residential lots, so I’m just glad to see it’ll be preserved for generations to come,” he said.

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