Koalas being pushed to the brink

Helen Darbellay urges people to not forget about the hundreds of koalas orphaned each year. She is holding Zara while Wills looks on.
Helen Darbellay urges people to not forget about the hundreds of koalas orphaned each year. She is holding Zara while Wills looks on.

THE koala has been declared "vulnerable" on the Federal Government's threatened species lists, and Ipswich wildlife carers and activists hope the new classification attracts strong protective action.

Ipswich Koala Protection Society representative and koala rescuer Helen Darbellay said her team wanted the listing to cover all developments.

"If this federal listing comes with exemptions it's not going to be worth anything, because Ipswich's biggest stable koala population is near a proposed industrial estate and mine in Ebenezer," Ms Darbellay said.

"The numbers of koalas we rescue have been about 180 a year for the past few years, but what has changed is that our rescue jobs have moved further out.

"Some of the previous inner suburb populations in Goodna, Bellbird Park, Camira have been decimated."

Ms Darbellay said koalas were being wiped out in urban areas.

"Gailes had the highest population of koalas years ago, and now there's nothing."

"Now, most of our rescue cases come from Coominya and Esk; over the last year we've had a lot of cases that have been hit by cars or attacked by dogs out that way."

RSPCA Qld Wildlife Hospital vet Bonny Cumming said the animal refuge's move to Wacol allowed them to treat more koalas.

"We've got better facilities here. We used to transfer them, but we can give them support," Dr Cumming said.

"There's a mix of both injury and disease cases and we've treated animals that have had encounters with cars and dogs."

Dr Cumming said habitat destruction had to be curbed.

Ms Darbellay said there was no reason, "we can't have development progress and koalas".

"Developers need to be told they don't need to knock down all the trees on a site," she said.

"We've got koalas on the RAAF base and at Willowbank Raceway that are proof selective clearing works."


The Federal Government lists the greatest threats to koalas as habitat loss, being hit by cars, disease, and predation by domestic dogs.

The koala population in south-east Queensland fell from 25,000 in 1990 to 15,000 in 2010.

Topics:  koala threatened species wildlife

Jet Boat Rescue saves yacht off North Coast

Ballina Jet Boat Rescue came to the aid of a yacht in distress yesterday afternoon.

Two people have had a lucky escape

Green team's grubby efforts unearth award nomination

dirtgirlworld, starring Dirtgirl (pictured), has been nominated in the Resource Efficiency Category for its Get Grubby project

dirtgirlworld creators' sustainability project proving a hit

Dreamworld miracle: How two girls managed to survive

TWO children watched their mother die in Dreamworld horror

Local Partners

First look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in a scene from the TV series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

NETFLIX drops first trailer for its revival of fan favourite.

How Kristie blind-sided everyone to win Australian Survivor

Kristie Bennett wins Australian Survivor.

FAN favourite says she was underestimated by her competitors.

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals