Koala group criticizes hotel plan

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Jim Fagan

The proposal to move the koala colony to Noosa Springs and replace the habitat with a five-story hotel drew condemnation from Queensland Koala Crusaders Association Ambassador Meghan Halverson.

“Do I think it’s the end of the koala population in Noosa Springs? Yes I will.

“It’s ridiculous to say you can tear down the trees and move the koalas and everything will be fine. Koalas have very high stress levels and it will blow them through the roof.

“Disturbance of the koala, the shiny black cockatoo, the landscape, the habitat, and all the creatures that lie beneath the koala in this umbrella is an absolute threat to their survival.”

Meghan is also a co-founder and past president of the Crusaders and was at the Koala site of Noosa Springs on Monday to address some of the objections that the 112-room hotel, which has luxury suites, three tennis courts and two swimming pools, doesn’t want at the resort and spa to to carry on.

More than 500 objections from homeowners from Noosa Springs, Parkridge, The Oasis and Elysium, as well as local golfers, have been submitted to Noosa Council, which is expected to consider the proposal next month.

A 21-point public impact statement was also presented to the council. It shows opposition to the $29 million proposal by the owners, Chinese company Golden Horse Nine Dragon Lake Holdings, a major Hong Kong-based real estate and resort developer.

Meghan told Noosa Today: “Every time we clear a block of land, we’re isolating koalas. We actually put them on small islands. For genetic diversity, male joeys must be able to travel between habitats and associate with other males and females.

“If there aren’t corridors connecting habitat, it’s catastrophic. Developers often don’t think about the animals, the destruction of the landscape, and really don’t understand what they’re doing to a community that really values ​​the koalas in their backyard.”

She said Koala Crusaders is “absolutely supportive of holdouts. We must protect every tree. In habitats, we clear more trees than we can replace. It takes five to ten years to plant new trees and create new habitat.”

“I think the community wants to see koalas, glossys and the like in their area for years to come. Continued deforestation for development within a biosphere will result in a lack of biodiversity and a path to extinction.”

One of the objectors, Warner Manning, later said that five years ago he and other volunteers received a grant from Noosa Council to set up a wildlife center on the Noosa Springs corporation property.

“We have volunteered to plant some koala friendly rubber trees and build a wooden bridge over Noosa Springs Creek to help the koalas circulate around the lake.

“We have an agreement with Koala Rescue that if they have a rescue they wish to release into the wild, we will release them into the designated area. We give them a donation for every release.”

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