Clarke Creek is part of the Clarke-Connors Range which is home to one of the most significant koala populations in the Queensland region.
Habitat loss is one of the worst threats for koalas, and is occurring through land clearing and deforestation, which destroys vital eucalyptus tree forests that koalas depend on for their home and their food.
When their homes are destroyed, koalas are vulnerable to dogs and car accidents.
Koalas were on the brink of extinction almost a century ago when they were hunted for their furs.
“They used to skin them alive and put them back up the tree with no fur,” Deborah Tabart, a spokesman for the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), told the ABC.
Their figures also show that there has been an estimated 30 percent decline in koalas across Australia between 2018 and 2021.
No Animals Are Safe From Renewable Energy FadIt is not just the Clarke Creek project that is ripping up koala habitats.
Tanya Plibersek, minister for the Environment and Water, approved the Lotus Creek project which allowed the decimation of old-growth forest which contained 341 hectares of known koala habitat.
Ms. Plibersek reversed the decision made by her Coalition predecessor, Sussan Ley, who deemed the wind farm as “clearly unacceptable” in 2020. This was because of the violations of federal environmental laws and the impact that the devastating 2019 bushfires had on the koalas.
Since Annastacia Palaszcuk took office as the Labor Queensland premier with a promise to safeguard the environment along with lots of PR shots up close with cuddly koalas, almost 4,000 hectares of koala habitat have been allocated for seven wind turbine farms according to Rainforest Reserves Australia.
The organisation has also highlighted that another 6,500 hectares of endangered koala habitat is scheduled for destruction in pending proposals resulting in more than 100 square kilometres of koala habitat in Queensland due to be destroyed.
Ms. Plibersek also approved the Chalumbin wind turbine project owned by South Korean company, Ark Energy, where 844 hectares of koala habitat were identified in the original plan.
Journalist Nick Cater has been successful in drawing attention to the destruction of native wildlife here with the wind farm (whose name has been changed to Wooroora Station to help “address misunderstandings”) now only having 42 wind turbines instead of 86.
Spinning wind turbines will also horrifically impact bats and raptors. Bats and bird-of-prey are being decimated by the wind turbines at nearby Kaban, Windy Hill, and Mount Emerald wind farms.
And just where are the Greens on this?
Yet it seems OK to destroy koalas and other endangered species’ habitats if it is with wind farms.
It’s not just Australia’s native flora and fauna that is being butchered, it will also add a nail in the coffin to tourism and local tourism businesses.
The Australia Koala Foundation estimates the value of the koala to Australian tourism is more than $3 billion per year.
It makes you wonder just how much more can a koala bear.