Sunshine Coast Council has committed to protect over 500 hectares of land with known koala habitat under a state-wide conservation program.
Council has entered into a Conservation Agreement with the state government to protect and manage 15 council-owned reserves as Nature Refuges.
The reserves are located from Glass House Mountains to Pomona and were gazetted by the state government as part of its Koala Nature Refuge program.
A majority of these reserves have been purchased over time through the Coast’s Environment Levy Program for their environmental values.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Tony Wellington said this commitment helps protect habitat for significant plant and animal species and will help preserve environmentally valuable land in perpetuity.
“Protecting the region’s natural habitat areas is one of the key actions identified in the Sunshine Coast Biodiversity Strategy 2012 – 2020,” he said.
“This recent gazettal marks a major milestone for the ongoing management and protection of our environment.
“The 15 reserves are home to numerous endangered, vulnerable or near threatened plants and animals, and all the reserves provide suitable habitat for koalas.
“Four of the new refuges are also adjacent to national parks or state forests, providing even greater conservation outcomes.”
These properties are now eligible to apply for funding assistance for on-ground management through the state government’s Nature Assist program.
Council will continue to work with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to identify suitable reserves to nominate for Nature Refuge protection.
The 15 new nature refuges include:
- Bobbie Sattler Nature Refuge (40.04ha) – located approximately 8km west of Caloundra
- Buderim Forest Park Nature Refuge (28ha) – located approximately 5km west of Maroochydore
- Cooroibah Environmental Reserve Nature Refuge (32.8ha) – located approximately 8km north-west of Noosa
- Frizzos Nature Refuge (20ha) – located approximately 12km north-west of Caloundra
- Jill Chamberlain Nature Refuge (31.45ha) – located approximately 4km west of Caloundra
- Kenilworth Bluff Nature Refuge (59.5ha) – located approximately 6km north of Kenilworth
- Kingsgate Drive Nature Refuge (1.89ha) – located approximately 10km west of Noosa
- Marist Brothers Nature Refuge (20.16ha) – located approximately 20km north of Caboolture
- Mountain Creek Conservation Area Nature Refuge (84ha) – located approximately 11km north of Caloundra
- Pattens Nature Refuge (4.5ha) – located approximately 12km west of Caloundra
- Policeman Spur Nature Refuge (40ha) – located approximately 10km south-west of Maleny
- Symplocos Nature Refuge (37.6ha) – located approximately 9km north of Cooroy
- Tanawha Tall Gums Nature Refuge (28ha) – located approximately 15km north-west of Caloundra
- Verrierdale Rise Nature Refuge (26.14ha) – located approximately 5km east of Eumundi
- Doonan Wetlands Nature Refuge (44 ha) – located approximately 19km north of Maroochydore.