Restore koala funding, LNP tells Queensland government

The LNP has urged the Koala Advisory Council to call on the state government to reverse funding cuts to koala rescue, research and rehabilitation services.

KOALA WARS: The LKNP says the state government has backed off spending on koalas.

KOALA WARS: The LKNP says the state government has backed off spending on koalas.

Opposition Environment spokesman David Crisafulli said the LNP had used estimates to highlight the  government’s lack of action on koala preservation.

It had been revealed that funding cuts occurred when programs started by the Campbell Newman government ended.

“I’m appalled that Labor is still talking about conservation after being frozen in action for four years and all while secretly cutting koala funding,” Mr Crisafulli said.

Mr Crisafulli said the LNP government set aside $800,000 in grant funding for koala rescue and rehabilitation services but these programs had been slowly phased out, with Labor failing to top up the fund.

This year the Environment Department allocated only $13,981 under the scheme.

The last LNP Government allocated $3.2 million towards koala research grants. This year the fund would allocate only $125,905 in grants.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the government’s koala conservation programs included $7.9 million in grants for environmental conservation and research, $500 million in land restoration targetting koala habitat and more than $6 million for koala hospitals.

​Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson said the government had effectively reduced funding for koala preservation in the Redlands.

“It is sad to see Labor dismantling the programs and reducing the funding in their political attempts to destroy the LNP’s good legacy when in government.

“Sadly, Labor-Greens make big claims about koala protection in the koala coast, but with funding cuts like this it is clear they are all talk.”

Last week, Ms Enoch announced the make-up of the Koala Advisory Council which will provide advice on the development of a new koala conservation strategy.

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

“...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.