Newman to spend millions on koala health

THE Newman Government will invest more than $3.2 million to support research into disease and other preventable causes of death, injury and illness of the state's koala population.

Environment Minister Andrew Powell was joined by Bill Ellis and Steve Johnston from the University of Queensland to see first-hand the valuable contribution researchers are making to help keep Queensland's koalas healthy.

Mr Powell said it was no secret that koalas were under significant pressure, and while habitat loss was one contributing factor, the issues could not be looked at in isolation.

"These Koala research grants are part of the Newman Government's $26.5 million Investing to protect our Koalas initiative," Mr Powell said.

"We have had great interest in our habitat acquisition program, allocating almost $280,000 in the first round of our rescue and rehabilitation grants.

"By delivering this much-needed funding in the area of koala disease research, we can take a holistic approach to protecting Queensland's koalas. 

"There was a high level of interest in these grants and the applications were of a very high standard.

"The research will provide tangible outcomes to better inform koala management in the field."

Grant recipients and their research projects are:

  • Griffith University - $449,621, Modelling to assess the risk posed by disease to the viability of Queensland's koala populations
  • University of Queensland - $322,824, Pathways of pathogen transmission in the koala
  • University of Queensland - $655,875, The pathology, incidence, treatment and management of Chlamydiosis in the male koala
  • School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland - $420,723, KoalaBase - standardised diagnostic procedures and epidemiological approaches, enhancing passive surveillance of SEQ koala disease
  • University of Queensland - $527,237, Behavioural and physiological adaptation to heat in the koala
  • Queensland University of Technology - $227,946, Koala Chlamydia pecorum virulence profiling: tools to inform management of health and diseased koala populations
  • University of Queensland - $342,664, Investigation into koala retrovirus pathogenesis for the improvement of koala conservation
  • Queensland University of Technology - $182,038, Development of a koala chlamydia specific therapy.

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