REDLAND City Council has voted unanimously to approve a development application in Ormiston that may lead to a line of 20 established koala habitat trees removed and the site revegetated with young trees.
The land, at 223-231 Wellington Street, Ormiston, will be developed into 24 housing lots and open space, public use land, with vehicular access to the development via Tolson Terrace.
The site is within a Priority Koala Assessable Development Area under the SEQ Koala Conservation State Planning Regulatory Provisions, and an independently prepared Koala Assessment Report submitted by the applicant to the council indicated koalas only used the site periodically.
A council spokesman said the trees were not being protected, as they were in a location that conflicted with infrastructure and future housing, and had limited east-west connectivity.
"The developer or future land owners may choose to keep or remove this vegetation," the spokesman said.
"However, the approval has resulted in 4878sq m of private land along the foreshore being dedicated for public use."
He said this area of land would be revegetated in accordance with the Habitat Protection Overlay objectives, where three trees would be planted for every one removed.
Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing hit out at the approval and said it would take at least seven years for the young trees to be viable as koala habitat.
"Effectively, they are removing a corridor, not just a food source," she said. "We've had many reports of koalas regularly using those trees.
"This is just another nail in the coffin for our urban koalas."
Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said although she voted for the application, the trees should have been protected, as they were "significant koala trees".
Cr Boglary said she was obliged to vote for the development application because there were no planning grounds on which to vote against it.