Brisbane City Council has protected more than 700 hectares of bushland in the past three years as part of its four-year plan to safeguard the city’s important green space and koala habitat for the future.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Council was on track to acquire 750 hectares of bushland by 2020 as part of its accelerated Bushland Acquisition Program.

“Continuing to protect Brisbane’s significant bushland is part of my plan to ensure the Brisbane of tomorrow is better than the Brisbane of today,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Council has invested about $75 million of the $120 million budget acquiring bushland, with an emphasis on protecting koala habitat like the Brisbane Koala Bushlands in Burbank.

“The newly protected land under the program spans across 33 sites including Chandler, Carindale, Kholo, Wakerley, The Gap, Bracken Ridge and Chermside.

“There are 18 sites that were secured through the Bushland Acquisition Program which are part of the current 23 sites undergoing restoration as part of the Environmental Offsets Program.

“This important restoration allows us to not only protect what’s already there, but also enhance the natural environment by planting new trees, maintaining the spaces and creating more homes for local wildlife.

“More than 130,000 trees have been planted as part of the Environment Offsets Program since 2016, including more than 11,000 trees across 25 hectares of land at Burbank.”

Cr Schrinner said more than 4000 hectares of vital natural area had been secured for preservation since 1990, but the rate that land was acquired had doubled since Council committed in 2016 to accelerating the program.

“Brisbane currently has about 37 per cent natural green cover across the city, and we are working hard to achieve our goal of increasing this to 40 per cent by 2031,” he said.

“We look to acquire land that supports significant ecosystems, plants and animals to be turned into conservation reserves.

“Keeping Brisbane clean and green is all about making our city liveable and sustainable for future generations.

“Most of the at-risk bushland which has been brought into public ownership is accessible to the public so residents and visitors can get outside and enjoy Brisbane’s lifestyle and leisure opportunities.”

Cr Schrinner said local residents and businesses played their role in helping our city remain clean and green, including through the Bushland Preservation Levy which is collected as part of the rates payment process.

“Council is committed to continuing to protect and acquire significant habitat through the Bushland Acquisition Program