Koala Woman Says
Historical research highlighted that in 1905 Rockhampton was as one of the key sources of the 200,000 Koala skins then produced annually in Australia and many of them came from this electorate for example around Clermont. That’s more than twice the total number of Koalas left in 2015. Koalas were practically wiped out in this electorate; there have only even been about 100 recorded sightings since the 1930s so recovery has been very slow, if at all. Clermont and Connors Range near Marlborough appear to have the largest populations, but it can’t be more than a few hundred in each area. There have been many road kills reported on the Peak Downs Highway between Nebo and Mackay, probably as a result of increased traffic between Mackay and the coal mines around Moranbah and Clermont. Some of these planned coal mines will destroy thousands of hectares of good habitat.
The Koala population in this electorate is scattered and at low densities, there is a fair amount of habitat but it is of lower quality. These Koalas are very sensitive to climate change: currently Koalas are found as far west as Hughenden, with a future 2oC temperature increase there won’t be any Koalas west of Moranbah. That’s a 400 kilometre contraction in geographic range. In the long term, Koalas in this electorate will only survive if their coastal habitats are protected.
Member for Capricornia
Will she Act or Axe?
Estimated AKF Koala Population: 1200-2500
Estimated Koala Habitat left: 60.5%
Estimated Federal Government Population: 6000-18000
Listed as vulnerable to extinction under the EPBC Act (May 2012)