Moreton Bay Regional Council hopes its new campaign will help protect koalas in the region, but council's efforts to save wildlife has its critics.
Moreton Bay Regional Council has launched a campaign to raise awareness of koalas in the region, but conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the native animals.
Council has been using variable message road signs to urge motorists to slow down and keep an eye out for koalas.
The message boards are located at Joyner, Strathpine, Warner, Petrie, Mango Hill and Dakabin.
Councillor David Dwyer (Division 7) said the campaign coincides with the start of koala breeding season in July.
But conservation groups say the focus should instead be on habitat protection, pointing to the recent clearing of bushland at the corner of Old North Road and Kremzow Road.
Pine Rivers Koala Care Association President Gary Bain said the large area of bushland at Brendale was of high value.
“There was something like over a hundred species of wildlife found in there and now there’s nothing,” Mr Bain said.
“We understand there’s got to be places for people to live and infrastructure, but we would like to see a little bit more concern given to conserving our environment.
“People talk about koalas, but if we save the habitat as well then every other animal gets a chance.”
Cr Mick Gillam (Division 8) said Council consulted relevant stakeholders regarding the land clearing, including the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital’s Wildlife Warriors.
Koala Action Pine Rivers’ Vanda Grabowski believes Council fails to realise the seriousness of the problem.
“It’s that dire at the moment that we may well be the generation that sees the beginning of the extinction of koalas in Moreton Bay,” she said. “It’s all very well telling local residents, ‘yes koalas are here’, but it also requires some action.”
Cr Gillam said more than $150,000 has been invested in koala protection in the coming council budget.
“Some people say we’re not doing enough; some people say why bother,” Cr Gillam said.
“You can’t please everyone and we think this is a reasonable amount of money.”
Koalas are classified as vulnerable at a federal level and regionally vulnerable at state level.
“It’s all very well to classify the koalas vulnerable but what you have to do is classify the vegetation upon which they depend as vulnerable as well,” Ms Grabowski said.
“Without the two going hand in hand you’re not going to save anything.”