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Hundreds of local koalas will benefit from a deal between the City and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital with the agreement producing thousands of kilograms of eucalyptus for the precious mammals.
“This is a 15-year deal to be known as the Merrimac Koala Eucalyptus Plantation agreement,’’ said Mayor Tom Tate.
“We are providing the land for $1 a year and will irrigate the site from the adjacent Recycled Water Treatment Plant. What a proud day for our city.’’
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary staff will plant, maintain and harvest trees on the land, delivering leaves to koalas receiving vital care.
Mayor Tate said the agreement was a great example of the City using its existing assets for the benefit of our native wildlife.
“Long term sustainability of the koala population on the coast is a key priority,” he said.
“Through the City’s endorsed Koala Conservation Plan, we provide ongoing support for plantations to be established in suitable areas of land for wild koalas receiving veterinary care and treatment.” More than 500 wild koalas will benefit from additional food supply yearly, with a further 20,000 trees to be planted at Merrimac’s Koala Eucalyptus Plantation.
The planting will bring the total number of trees to 35,000 and increase the plantation size to 118,000m2.
Dr. Michael Pyne, Senior Veterinarian at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital said the partnership would ensure certainty for koala food supply until 2032.
“It takes 1000 trees a year to support one koala,” he said.
“Our hospital is experiencing a surge in koalas requiring treatment and we require access to more food.
“Over the previous year, the hospital has treated 400 koalas, compared to 10 years ago when it only treated 30 koalas per year.
“Help us continue the treatment and care of these beautiful Aussie icons by donating to our Tree to Me Program – for as little as $10 you can help us continue planting eucalypt trees.”
Donations can be made via currumbinwildlifehospital.org.au
The City collaborates with Wildcare to maintain another plantation of 2000 trees at Tallebudgera.
For details on the City’s koala programs, go to www.cityofgoldcoast.com.au/koala