Koalas listed as vulnerable under the EPBC’s Threatened Species List 

UPDATED 09/05/2012

On 30th April 2012, the federal environment minister announced that koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory would be listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), effective as of the 2nd May 2012. The decision follows strong scientific evidence of declines and pervasive threats to this iconic species, warranting federal protection under the EPBC Act.

While State legislation in Queensland and New South Wales already exists to protect koalas and restrict development in areas of koala habitat, federal listing is intended to provide additional protection to important koala populations and their habitats. The consequence of federal protection of the Koala under the EPBC Act means that any development or action that has, will have, or is likely to have, a significant impact on important koala populations or their habitats may require federal environmental approval.

It is understood that any project which has been referred to the federal environment minister under the EPBC Act, for any matter of national environmental significance, and has been the subject of a Ministerial decision about whether or not it is a controlled action is not affected by the Koala listing. However, a project that has not been referred under the EPBC Act, or a project that has been referred but has not been the subject of a decision may be affected by the listing. Irrespective of a development having a State-level planning approval in place, (e.g., an approval under the current SEQ Koala Conservation State Planning Regulatory Provisions in Queensland), a referral under the EPBC Act may still be required.

Referral to the federal environment minister however will only be required if a development or action is likely to result in a significant impact to important koala populations or their habitat. This is guided by relevant EPBC Act Significant Impact Guidelines, including specific Koala Significant Impact Guidelines which are currently being prepared and will be available within the next 6 months. Until koala-specific guidelines are available, assessment will be guided by the EPBC Act Significant Impact Guidelines 1.1. It is understood that interim koala assessment guidelines are likely to be released by the department in the next few weeks.

With respect to these changes, litoria consulting has:

  • Demonstrated experience in koala population survey and habitat assessment;
  • Knowledge of the biology and behaviour of koalas;
  • Capability in spatial analysis and habitat mapping;
  • Expertise in management including design and delivery of habitat offsets; and,
  • Service delivery to both private and government clients.

Our demonstrated experience and capability in koala survey, koala habitat assessment and the development of koala management plans ensures our clients objectives and those of koala conservation can be duly met.

More Information

Portfolio > Koala Research

Portfolio > Koala Assessment

Portfolio > Koala Assessment and Management Plans

Info > Koala habitat assessments

Info > Koala EPBC listing FAQ