Hepburn Shire Council - Koala Connect Project
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Koala Connect
 Koala Survey 2010
Hepburn signs on to Koala Connect Project
Koala HabitatAs more Victorians make the tree change and live in natural bush areas, there is a pressing need to care for our native wildlife such as koalas, and their habitat.

To help address this, the Hepburn Shire Council has now joined the Koala Connect project being funded by the Victorian Sustainability Accord and is working in partnership with the City of Ballarat, the Moorabool and Pyrenees Shires and the Australian Koala Foundation to help protect our local biodiversity.

The project uses the koala as an iconic species to engage with the community around planning, biodiversity and native vegetation.

Biodiversity is the natural world in which koalas play a part. It includes native vegetation, wildlife and ecosystem processes such as the provision of clean water, soil and air. Biodiversity also contributes to our sense of place and quality of life.

Decisions made at the planning level to protect biodiversity can have extensive benefits for native vegetation and wildlife such as the koala. If decisions such as where to place a house, how to subdivide a block and what is reasonable use of a property are made with biodiversity in mind, considerable time and resources may also be saved.

Biodiversity is well known in Landcare and environment groups, environment officers and dedicated government departments. However, awareness of biodiversity and its benefits needs to extend to non-traditional stakeholders such as council planning staff, developers and members of the public before they lodge a planning application.

As part of the Koala Connect project Hepburn Shire residents will be asked to take part in the Community Koala Surveys being organised across the participating local council areas in October. Surveys will be distributed widely across all four municipalities.

The Project will also be providing a Living with Wildlife Guide for new residents, a Pre-planning Applicant’s Kit and carry out training and workshops for council staff.

Local koala-themed planting workshops will also be held a little later in the year.

As part of the Koala Connect partnership, Hepburn Shire Council is fortunate to be joined by project officer Tanya Loos who will be in the Shire on a part-time basis to help coordinate local activities.

Tanya can be contacted on 0400 458910 or 5320 5653 at the City of Ballarat or locally each Monday on tloos@hepburn.vic.gov.au or 03 5348 2306.

Koala Connect

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