Forever home secured for Koalas and Cockatoos on Sunshine Coast

The purchase will provide habitat for koalas and vulnerable wildlife including the glossy black cockatoo

A parcel of untouched native bushland in the Sunshine Coast hinterland will be protected for conservation, supporting endangered koalas as well as the vulnerable glossy black cockatoo and Richmond birdwing butterfly.

Sunshine Coast Council purchased the 14ha block on Old Gympie Road, Mount Mellum, expanding the adjoining East Mount Mellum Nature Refuge.

The 14ha block will expand the existing East Mount Mellum Nature Refuge

Division 5 Councillor Winston Johnston said the site had strong conservation values as healthy bushland habitat and was within a key area for biodiversity corridors and water quality flowing into the Pumicestone Passage.

“Among a suite of ecological values, this block also supports some of our region’s most beloved wildlife,” Cr Johnston said.

“It provides extensive food trees for glossy black cockatoos and vines for Richmond birdwing butterflies, and trees show plenty of evidence koalas occupy this area.

“This land will now be held as a nature refuge in perpetuity, expanding the East Mount Mellum Nature Refuge to a total 52.5ha and providing a forever home to help sustain these vulnerable and iconic species.”

This healthy bushland at Mount Mellum will be protected after the land was purchased through Council’s Environment Levy

How you’re helping save precious wildlife

The $330,000 land purchase was funded through the Environment Levy, paid by every Sunshine Coast ratepayer through their annual rates.

Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said the Environment Levy had funded the purchase and maintenance of more than 4000ha of land for conservation across the region.

“Expanding Council’s environment reserve network is crucial to protecting regional biodiversity priorities, enhancing ecological connectivity and increasing the conservation estate’s resilience to climate change,” Cr Cox said.

“We’re committed to our ongoing target of maintaining at least 9.6ha of land for conservation per 1000 residents, which our annual reporting shows is on track with 11.09ha per 1000 residents in 2022-23.

“These efforts run in tandem with our targets set down in the Environment and Liveability Strategy, such as maintaining our 2016 extent of native vegetation with no net loss to 2041.

“By protecting and maintaining our environment, we also protect the enviable liveability of our region and contribute to a stronger Sunshine Coast Biosphere.”

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