OPINION: Koala trees replace valuable habitat
COMMENT BY MAYOR MARK JAMIESON: AS MANY of you would know, the Sunshine Coast Council's vision is for the region to become the most sustainable place in Australia.
That means a sustainable economy, a sustainable environment and sustainable community.
It's all about balance because you can't have one without the others.
There was a really good example of that principle last week when koalas at Sunshine Coast Council's Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve were given a helping hand.
The federally funded Bruce Hwy project connecting Frizzo Rd with Sippy Creek Rd at Palmview will be a much-valued economic and community asset.
But there will be an environmental cost as the road works are in an area mapped as a koala habitat.
To offset that cost the State Government is paying for suitable trees to be planted at the Doonan Creek site - five for every one cut down in Palmview.
Funds of $970,000 will provide koala habitat on 9.3ha of the 252ha environmental reserve, including planting and maintenance over the next five years.
Council purchased the reserve with environment levy funds in August last year because it represented one of the most important wetland areas left in the region.
In the past 12 months alone council has purchased 400ha of environmentally significant land for $5.7 million, including sites at Mt Ninderry, Cambroon, Ilkley and the Doonan Creek Environment Reserve at Verrierdale.
These sites when combined create a corridor of conservation that is emblematic of council's desire to preserve and protect our natural heritage for future generations. The equation doesn't have to be environment or economy or community - you can have all three. In fact, that's the only way we can become the most sustainable region in Australia.
Also this week I'd like to mention Sustainable Partnerships Australia, which was formerly known as the Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership in Maroochydore.
At a time when youth unemployment is a concern to many, this organisation is doing an outstanding job as a leading provider of education, career and transition projects to young people.