Bid for peninsula to be first ‘koala shire’

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Picture: Gary Sissons

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire is likely to come under pressure to adopt an emblem featuring a koala.

The idea will be floated at a public meeting in March, along with a plan to use the shire’s planning powers to protect koalas.

Cr David Gill is holding the 26 March meeting and says having a koala-based flora and faunal-based emblem is a good idea, although changing the planning rules “is a long process which needs ministerial approval”.

However, he says advocating using planning laws to protect koalas “would generate much needed publicity on the lack of state government action”.

Craig Thomson, director of Wildlife Ecosystems Retention and Restoration, wants the shire to adopt a koala protection planning overlay similar to one at Ballarat.

Mr Thomson said a koala emblem for the shire could also include a manna gum, the koala food tree.

“If the shire was to take this step, it would most likely to be the first council in Australia to do so,” he said.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 29 January 2020

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