Activists condemn 'immoral' clearing of koala habitat
ANIMAL-RIGHTS activists from around the world have condemned what they claim is illegal and immoral clearing of "prime koala habitat" at Tinana.
Maryborough koala rescue volunteer Natalie Richardson said she estimated a couple of hectares of bushland was destroyed when a bulldozer started clearing without warning on Tuesday afternoon.
She said the bushland in the undeveloped section of Henderson Park estate was home to 40 threatened, endangered or vulnerable species.
"We got here as fast as we could but (the dozer driver) was already packing up," Ms Richardson said.
She and fellow conservationists immediately started searching the area, a well-known habitat for koalas, looking for injured or dead wildlife, but had to call the search off as darkness set in.
On Wednesday morning they were joined by distressed conservationists from across Queensland as they continued their search and also peacefully protested any further clearing.
Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor George Seymour said the developer of Henderson Park had a clearing permit that met with council and state government legislation.
However, the council was looking into allegations that it had breached its permit, including a claim that a native fauna spotter-catcher was not on-site during the clearing.
"This is a pristine koala habitat - other areas like Redlands are scrambling to preserve these areas," Cr Seymour said.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is also investigating.
The developer and director of Belela Pty Ltd, Ron Blyth, could not be contacted for comment.
No dead or injured koalas were found on Tuesday.
Koala rescue volunteers estimate at least half a dozen of the vulnerable species call the area home at any given time.