SAVING AN ICON: A natural koala refuge is in the pipeline for Woolshed Creek Conservation Reserve.
SAVING AN ICON: A natural koala refuge is in the pipeline for Woolshed Creek Conservation Reserve. David Nielsen

Measures to save koalas

NEWS that a large natural koala refuge could be established within a 1000-hectare area of bushland has given hope to Ipswich conservationists.

Ipswich City Council this week announced its in-principal support for a State Government proposal to investigate a possible koala nature refuge at the Woolshed Creek Conservation Reserve, near Grandchester.

Environment spokeswoman Councillor Heather Morrow said it was a positive step that would help preserve koala populations.

"Koalas have a special place in all of our hearts as an internationally recognised symbol of Australia and council takes our custodianship of their local habitats seriously," Cr Morrow said.

The Ipswich Koala Protection Society has welcomed the news.

IKPS spokeswoman Helen Darbellay said Ipswich City Council had shown a willingness to consult with conservation groups.

"We applaud Ipswich City Council's foresight in recognising the necessity of protecting koala habitat in their local government area, and the importance of setting it aside now," Ms Darbellay said.

"This land forms part of an important habitat for koalas and other wildlife, and a corridor to an area well known for the regular sighting of koalas.

"Ipswich has what we believe is possibly the largest healthy koala population remaining in south-east Queensland, and our aim is to keep it that way."

Most of that population is believed to reside in the Mt Forbes area, which Cr David Pahlke said had been saved from a significant amount of industrial activity due to this fact.

The Southern Freight Rail Corridor was also changed.

"That area is recognised and we are protecting huge tracts of land," Cr Pahlke said.


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