Koala Chat - Sept 2014

April through June brought us to many meetings and collaboration with other groups to "DO WHAT'S BEST FOR KOALAS".  We are now ending the month of September, which has been a whirlwind of activity! September, which is known around the world as “Save the Koala” month due to many years of action from the AKF, has had every weekend full of events for QKC Inc. members to spread awareness about the koala. It was a busy month indeed, hence the combined efforts to get up to date with “QKC Inc. news”.   Social media has become a great platform of reporting of our efforts and we hope to have a better online presence through our website in the coming year. Calling all you web-savvy young folks that can perhaps take the initiative on this and come onboard for exciting works ahead for the koalas!  We need you!!!!

The legal requirements and standards for koala care have been brought into question with our current Government and we look to speak out for the koalas getting displaced and disregarded in the increasing growth and development plans across Queensland. 
 
At Lawnton Lakes Estates, the Save the 40 campaign has not really proven to be best for koalas. We witnessed koalas in trees that were becoming over browsed after a large clearing of land onsite. We attended meetings with Council and spoke out for our friends. We have sent letters of concern and called the State Government as well as the Developer responsible. As construction has commenced, koalas have now been removed from the site, health checked and relocated to alternative sites within the 5km range, thereby not requiring a translocation permit. We believe that the end result of our efforts did not end in best practice standards for these koalas under the current policies and legislation set down by the Queensland Government. As initial statements were made that the cost would not be an issue in terms of plans for relocation, unfortunately cost was a factor in the end.
 
Promises were also made to monitor the koalas post relocation, and this will be a nearly impossible task without proper monitoring equipment, which would have proven too costly for this project according to Moreton Bay Regional Council.  We offered to assist and help to raise funds for these efforts, yet this was ignored. The koalas are likely to return to their destroyed habitat as they naturally will roam looking for a mate between their new sites and their destroyed habitat. Here lie roads and the gardens of suburbia where countless dangers are faced due to human habitation. The old ways, with many hours being spent writing submissions, countless meetings attended and situations being "managed" at minimal cost, will only lead to more loss of life for koalas.  Although this particular situation could have been an opportunity to set a precedent for what we know will be the beginning of many other similar projects, it has fallen short with false promises made; koalas not revered and protected, as they deserve. 
 
Breeding season is in full swing and we would like to give support to our rescuers and carers in the months to come. Transport is crucial, as is financial support so anywhere you can help in this regard is welcome to help get our koalas the care they deserve. Donate to your local rescue group or through us and we will help to provide fuel cards for their ongoing efforts.
 
The increasing collaboration and growing force of an Alliance between groups is upon us. We participated in an Alliance Workshop which was a great success in Wild Mountains in April and as we work with others to create better standards and an increasing body of awareness, the koalas will benefit in the long view. Since then, we have developed a governance structure and vision/mission/code of conduct as we have joined forces with other States across Australia in a Network structure to give a louder voice to our koalas!  The “National Koala Alliance” Campaign efforts will soon be revealed and will provide a base for better protection of koalas Nationwide. It is time to change the ways of old and, instead, inspire a future of collective effort here in Australia and around the world! We love our koalas and will do everything we can to sustain a future for them in Queensland and across Australia.
 
We presented ideas at a Friday Forum in Noosa that was met with a mix of positive focus and angry criticism. U3A brought positive reinforcement of koala supporters as did our educational stalls at the Qld Garden Show, Twinnies Rescue Day, Nexus Conference, National Threatened Species Day and National Day of Action for Dingoes. When we try to shift paradigms, we are bound to meet with adversity and differences of opinion. QKC Inc. members continue to stand tall and agree to disagree with some, still willing to work alongside them. We are here to "fight" for koalas, not amongst each other.
 
We are in the process of working with landowners and continue to grow our land trust and sanctuary funds to provide safe havens for the future. A great big thank you goes out to all of you who have donated time and effort for these projects whilst having heaps of fun!!. Our “Concert for Koalas” in Redcliffe at the Hayes Inlet Festival was a great success as well as the other tree planting and educational projects in progress. National Tree Day helped to plant trees across the country and combined efforts with Land for Wildlife and Landcare have provided bases for greater works to come.
 
Member Dave Norman has become the most recent “wildlife songwriter” in Queensland with his song for koalas being used to share the word with many. A recent song for the dingoes was also recorded in Doonan, Qld at Gavin Hamburger Productions - sung by Barry Charles - and is traveling around the world supported by Jane Goodall as she inspires and supports collaborative efforts for wildlife!  Good work team!
 
Regular donations of raffle prizes, has led us to a continued fundraising efforts that will change monthly. Thank you to donators, especially Brian Tisdall for his hauntingly beautiful paintings of koalas. The winners are thrilled and these works of art will hang proudly, generating conversations for years to come!
 
A beautiful new banner was created for our stalls thanks to the Rotary Club of Noosa Heads Daybreak! Thank you Peter Jantke for your wonderful work!
 
We, and the koalas are eternally grateful!
 
So, as we grow and change and create a long view for koalas, thank you all for being a part of the team! If you would like to do more, feel free to join us at our next meeting on the 11th October at the “Sunspace Café”, Corner of Eumundi Noosa Rd. and Beddington Rd. in Doonan.
 
Together, we will continue to stand up and make some noise as we   provide a “Voice for the Koalas” in SEQ and across this great Nation!   Our next newsletter will give you an idea why we have had little time to be on track as we have been out and about spreading the word and our Children’s Writing Competition was a huge success! Over 350 entries were received and some deep understanding of the issues evident in our younger members has inspired us and given us hope for the future. These Young Crusaders are our future and hold the keys to innovation for future conservation efforts! Stay tuned for more about this and keep spreading the word that our iconic koalas have a voice to be reckoned with as we move forward into the future.
 
Gratefully yours,
 
Meghan Halverson, President 


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