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Powell Media Release – WANTED: land to help protect SEQ koalas (14 August 2012)

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
The Honourable Andrew Powell
14/08/2012

WANTED: land to help protect SEQ koalas

The Newman Government wants to hear from landowners in south-east Queensland interested in selling properties that could become protected koala habitat.

Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the Government wanted to purchase land identified as suitable for long-term protection and was inviting expressions of interest from property owners.

“The State Government is committed to the conservation of koalas and delivering this election commitment demonstrates that,” Mr Powell said.

“We have allocated $22.5 million over the next three years to buy land and expand koala habitat in areas where their territory is under significant pressure.”

Mr Powell said the focus of the purchases will be land within the local government areas of Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Redland, Logan, Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Ipswich and Somerset.

“Expressions of interest will be competitively assessed against a range of criteria with habitat being a major focus,” he said.

“This is part of our Six Month Action Plan and shows we are serious about the environment and koala protection after years of neglect by Labor.”

Mr Powell said that, wherever possible, the land would also be available to the public for recreational use and increased opportunities for people to see koalas in the wild.

“With koalas listed as vulnerable to extinction in south-east Queensland, increasing the protection of their habitat through programs such as this is vital for the long-term survival of this iconic species,” he said.

Expressions of interest opened on 14 August and will close on 31 October.

For more information visit: www.ehp.qld.gov.au or telephone (07) 3330 6317.

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