QYAC chief executive officer Cameron Costello on Queensland Koala Advisory Council

QUANDAMOOKA Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Cameron Costello has been appointed to the state government’s Koala Advisory Council.

Announcing the panel, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the group of leading experts would provide advice on the development and implementation of a new koala conservation strategy in Queensland.

“This Koala Advisory Council, led by RSPCA Queensland chief executive officer Mark Townend, will co-ordinate and oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the Koala Expert Panel report, which was released earlier this year,” Ms Enoch said.

“The establishment of this dedicated koala council was one of six recommendations of the koala expert panel.

“These experts have a wealth of experience in animal welfare, conservation and urban planning and one of their first tasks will be to work with the Queensland Government to finalise a new South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy.

“Since the release of the Expert Panel report earlier this year, the Palaszczuk government has been working closely with stakeholders to develop a strategy that delivers a multifaceted approach that combines the protection of koala habitat through the planning framework, with action to address other threats.”

The Koala Advisory Council will hold its first meeting on December 13. A roundtable with key stakeholders will be held early next year.

Ms Enoch said the appointment was the next practical step to protecting koalas.

“Koalas are an iconic species and they need to be protected,” Ms Enoch said.

“The Palaszczuk government is delivering on our commitment to address the decline in koala populations in south-east Queensland.

“I am confident the new advisory council will help set a new direction for koala conservation in Queensland through science informed policies and management approaches.

“We know vegetation clearing and climate change are the main threats to Queensland’s threatened species, and the Palaszczuk government’s new vegetation management laws have helped address this.”

Other members of the council are University of Queensland Associate Professor and Koala Expert Panel chair Jonathan Rhodes, Dreamworld’s life sciences division general manager Al Mucci, Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive officer Kirsty Chessher-Brown, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital director Rosemary Booth, Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Gemma Plesman, Local Government Association of Queensland senior advisor Kristy Gooding, Healthy Land and Water executive officer Julie McLellan, MOSAIC chief operating officer Marina Vit and Timber Queensland chief executive, Mick Stephens.

Representatives from government including from the Environment, State Development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Main Roads department will also be