Residents unite to protect gliders, quolls threatened by logging

28 March 2023

Community opposition to logging continues to grow across Queensland with Peachester residents now calling for the protection of local native forests.

“Our wildlife is facing extinction and needs vital habitat such as that provided in Luttons, Peachester and Beerburrum West State Forests,” Queensland Conservation Council Protected Areas Campaigner Nicky Moffat said.

“Queenslanders get the most out of these publicly owned forests when they’re designated national park, where $1 generates between $8-$10 in tourism and hospitality.

“The cultural values of these forests on Jinibara country are significant, and First Nations people need to be at the centre of their management and care moving forward.

“We celebrate the stand these citizens are taking for nature. Our regional communities need native forests and wildlife for conservation and for nature tourism.

“World class national parks throughout this gorgeous state should be an urgent priority before the Brisbane 2032 Olympics when all eyes will be on Queensland and its unique culture, country and wildlife.”

Peachester resident Bianca Skews said the endangered greater glider and other threatened species have been recorded in the State Forests near her home.

“We want Peachester, Luttons and Beerburrum West State Forests added to Glasshouse Mountains National Park immediately not logged,” Ms Skews said. “The science is in on this, large parts of these forests are high conservation value and would provide an important national park extension.  

“This is about the wildlife, but also the community. These forests are so important for this community. With all the new developments around here we need these state forests to regenerate and grow for future generations to enjoy.

“I’m a photographer and I work in the forests. I’ve done shoots all around here, the big trees are so beautiful. We are so lucky to live close to nature where endangered creatures are living. 

“I’m very concerned that endangered species habitat is being logged nearby. After all the horrors these animals have gone through - bushfires, floods have come through - we should make sure their homes are intact and are protected forever.

“Next to our property there’s a corridor that is now reserved for koala conservation, as habitat. I love that it’s right next to our house, it’s only a small corridor but it’s for koalas and I’m proud to have that right next door.”

Mountain bike rider Cameron Gibson, 45, lives in Narangba and grew up near Glasshouse Mountains, and has been riding in Peachester State Forest regularly since he was 14 years old.

“I ride there often, and take mates there. I go out there now and feel like I’m 14 again - I love being in the bush,” Mr Gibson said.

“It’s very diverse, you’ve got wet sclerophyll rainforest and bush, it’s also a bit of a secret spot so it’s never crowded. I’ve seen koalas, but the most amazing wildlife I’ve seen was a python that was as thick as my thigh, about 4-5 metres long. I thought it was a log and couldn’t see its head!

“There’s platypus in the creek not far from there too. I haven’t seen them yet but am so excited to, they’re such an incredible creature.

“This area has the best local tracks for mountain biking, it’s such a great thing for kids to get into so it’ll be great to preserve for them.”

Sunshine Coast Environment Council spokesperson Narelle McCarthy said Luttons and Peachester State Forests represent a significant contribution to the Sunshine Coast region’s biodiversity and green space.

“In a time of biodiversity and climate crises, we have an obligation to lead the way with protected area expansion which supports nature and community well-being.  The importance of these natural areas and their inherent conservation and ecological values cannot be underestimated and must be protected.

“We’re thrilled the Minister for Environment is committed to doubling Queensland’s protected areas from 8.2% to 17%. These forests would form an outstanding and critical addition to the Glasshouse Mountains National Park.

“With population growth and urban expansion it’s more important than ever to protect these remnants and connect and restore natural ecosystems.”