Save our koala – in 1927!

Today we take it for granted that our unique wildlife is not hunted and many people are working hard to save endangered species such as the iconic koala.

However, in 1927, there was debate about the number of koalas in the wild and whether an ‘open season’ would be appropriate. Queensland State Archives’ (QSA) holds a bundle of protesting letters and petitions, including a petition from residents of Dalby and the surrounding district to the Acting Premier of Queensland:

Queensland State Archives Item ID1139494, Correspondence: Petition from residents of Dalby protesting the declaration of an open season on koalas.

Protests against the proposed open season on koalas were received from individuals, Councils and organisations throughout Queensland and Australia. Mr Heber A. Longman – then Director of the Queensland Museum – is quoted in The Brisbane Courier as saying:

The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 19 July, 1927, page 13

Newspapers at the time reported that the Queensland Cabinet reviewed their decision for an open season on koalas in light of widespread protests from the public, however, it seems that the open season was still held in the month of August 1927 and included both koalas and ‘opossums’.

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