Saturday, 6 December 2008

goodbye koalas

I read in a recent article in the Australian that the Koala population in south east Queensland has declined some 40%. Politicians seem to be distressed by this. According to that article "It is believed there are less than 20,000 koalas now in the wild in southeast Queensland."

and that some recognition of this being related to urban development

"The State Government will also work with local governments to draft a new local law for development approvals to ensure dogs and koalas are kept apart, with suggestions including kennelling dogs at night, new fencing regulations and no dog provisions in new estates."

Some years ago (around 1995) back in South East Queensland people united against a road development in areas of Koala habitat and at the election ousted the government supporting it.

Its lovely to see such concern for the environment (although it seems likely that some motivation may have come from opportunistic politics).

But soon after that the area seems to have been heavily developed by urban sprawl (perhaps more habitat destroying and threatening than the roads).

Ironically the Koalas would probably be alive today if the road had gone through.

No one seems to want to alter the nature of urban development, despite general agreement that its both costly and increasingly difficult to provide infrastructure to these sprawling urban areas.
So while roads are not allowed to threaten the Koala population that relentless urban development is. So areas just around where I live which were once like this:

are bull dozed over and turned into this:

There are certainly other models of development than this, which if we are to live in the area and not destroy the very reasons we find it beautiful need to be explored.

This will require planning and community involvement. I hope that this can happen so that we don't have to say good bye to both the Koalas and the natural beauty of the region.

Please go visit the Koala Foundation and give Deborah Tabart a hand!

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