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Inaction hard for environmentalist to bear

A mother koala with her baby snuggle together in one of the trees at Henderson Park.
A mother koala with her baby snuggle together in one of the trees at Henderson Park. Robyne Cuerel

TIME is running out for the koalas at Tinana as Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell concedes there will be no funding from council or the State Government.

Over the past year there have been calls from community groups as well as from land owner and developer Ron Blyth for the council and State Government to take on land at Henderson Park estate after koalas were discovered on three blocks.

With stage four of the development set for September, so far no money has been put forward, with Cr O'Connell saying the land was not a "high priority" location for environmental funding.

"We're working really closely with the state to be able to secure increased area for koala habitat," Cr O'Connell said.

"Our efforts are looking for high-priority areas and our efforts are to partner with the State Government to get the best result.

"In terms of funding we don't have the capacity to be a funding source."

The news has disappointed local environmentalist Natalie Richardson, of Koala Care Fraser Coast, who says koalas are regularly spotted in the area.

"I've sent several invites for council to actually come and have a look at the land because my understanding is that very few have come and seen the place," she said.

"I don't see how they can make a judgment or assessment either way if they haven't even come and had a look at it."

"There are private organisations and members of the public prepared to put money in providing that council contributes and agrees to maintain the upkeep."

While funding for the land at Henderson Park has been denounced, Cr O'Connell said the council would consider working with a private investor who chose to buy the land for conservation purposes.

"If someone was to buy the remaining blocks for conservation purposes they would be entitled to a rate rebate."

Evironmentalist Natalie Richardson checks out the remaining koala population at Henderson Park in Maryborough.
Evironmentalist Natalie Richardson checks out the remaining koala population at Henderson Park in Maryborough. Robyne Cuerel

Topics:  fraser coast regional council funding koala maryborough state government tinana



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