Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Loses An Advocate But Support Remains Strong

Two koalas took centre stage for a few, brief minutes with Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Brisbane in 2011. The moment highlighted the monarch’s support for nature conservation and shone a lasting light on the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary’s conservation efforts for these tree-climbing marsupials that have become synonymous with Australia. 

A Great Loss

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, died peacefully on the 8th of September 2022 at Balmoral Castle. 

A great advocate of conservation efforts for nature and the environment, the Queen died one day after National Threatened Species Day, traditionally celebrated on the 7th of September, the day the Tasmanian tiger (aka thylacine) was pronounced extinct. ⁠

Like the Tasmanian tiger, the Queen was noble and courageous, protective, and devoted to everyone in her circle and beyond.

Efforts Not For Nought

Support for the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary remains strong as the sanctuary continues the work that the now-deceased monarch had greatly admired.

Located about 12 km away from Brisbane City, it is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with 100 koalas. 

In 2021, a $1.4-million expansion project commenced. It is expected to be completed in 2022, weather permitting. 

Lone Pine Sanctuary
Photo Credit: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The upgrades cover 15,000-sqm of space and include a Wild Walk exhibit that involves new animal enclosures through a new wildlife zone and is contained within the existing established eucalyptus plantation.

“Since opening in 1927, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has been a favourite with domestic and international visitors, as well as generations of Southeast Queensland families,” Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said, during the groundbreaking of the project in August 2021.

“This project will not only allow us to provide local, interstate and international guests with new and engaging wildlife experiences, but also help us secure ongoing employment opportunities for both new and existing staff, and significantly contribute to Brisbane’s recovering tourism industry,” he said.

“We’ve invested $1.2 million in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary through our Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund to help deliver new tourism experiences and up to 25 construction and ongoing jobs,” he added.

Aside from the world-famous koalas, the sanctuary also has tree kangaroos, wombats, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, bettongs, quokkas, and potoroos. 

(from L to R) Tamielle Brunt (Wildlife Qld), LM Adrian Schrinner & Keeper Beck (Lone Pine)
Photo Credit: Facebook/Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

In 6 September, Wildlife Queensland’s PlatypusWatch Network annual eDNA monitoring project was launched during a visit to the sanctuary by Cr Adrian Schrinner. The platypus population at Brisbane’s waterways has been identified through critical research and Moggill Creek has emerged as Brisbane’s top hotspot. Platypus populations have also been identified in Albany Creek, Bullockhead Creek, Sandy Creek, Kholo Creek, Pullen Pullen Creek, and Shelley Creek.

The Queen would have been so proud.