Australian Bluegum Plantations' new koala management policy implemented in December 2013 has led to 'marked improvement in harvest related incidents,' says company's managing director

MELBOURNE, Australia , June 23, 2014 (press release) – Koala Management Update from Tony Price, Managing Director

Australian Bluegum Plantations (ABP) has made significant improvements to its koala management and protection program over the previous 6 months. In December 2013, ABP implemented a new policy that involved dividing the estate into two zones based on whether koalas are likely to inhabit the plantations. Any harvest operations in the “Koala Zone” must have independent ground spotters deployed to work ahead of the harvest machines to identify and mark koala trees. The introduction of this new approach has resulted in a marked improvement in harvest related incidents.

ABP’s current Koala Protection and Management Plan is version 10 . Version updates are a result of new information and understanding of koalas and their behaviours, trialling different technology and work processes, and extensive discussions with key and interested stakeholders. The Koala Protection and Management Plan will be updated biannually. ABP welcomes stakeholder comments into version 10 which will be considered in version 11 (October 2014).

Please email any comments regarding version 10 to marketing@austgum.com.au

Please also refer to ‘ABP KOALA MANAGEMENT KEY POINTS’ for detailed information about the changes ABP has implemented to the koala protection and management program.

ABP remains committed to the hardwood plantation industry’s ultimate goal of zero harm to koalas. In order to achieve this, ABP is continually reviewing, trialling and adapting new technologies and work practices to respond to changing environments and circumstances. Whilst an improvement in koala incidents is noted, ABP is dedicated to doing all that is reasonably possible to achieve our ultimate goal.

ABP is a significant regional employer and a major contributor to the economy in the Green Triangle region. It is in everyone’s best interests to maintain the economic benefits of sustainable plantation forestry while at the same time following environmental and social best practice.

Industry adopts new guidelines to protect Koalas in Blue Gum plantations in Western Victoria

The plantation industry in Western Victoria and South Australia has adopted new, industry-wide policy and guidelines to protect koalas living in Blue Gum plantations across the region.

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