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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6445

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (18:42): Recently I had a meeting with Charlie Lewis, a koala protection activist in the Somerset region. She lives up at Toogoolawah and she talked to me about the fact that the Somerset Regional Council has not signed up to the same degree of protection as have, say, the Ipswich City and Brisbane City Councils. She was arguing for some corridors for the protection of koalas and other native fauna. I know the Somerset Regional Council has just had an election and that there are some changes there.

I also met with some other activists who are campaigning against coalmining in rural Ipswich around Ebenezer and Rosewood. They are also concerned that further mining leases, if they are granted and if mining is undertaken in and around those areas—Mount Maude, et cetera—would have a significant adverse impact on native fauna, particularly koalas. I know that in some of the schools in those areas, particularly around Peak Crossing, just outside of my seat, there are trees with koalas, and clearly whole ovals are set aside for that.

I ask the minister: what action are you taking on the protection of native fauna, particularly koalas, and how is that being reflected in the budget?