14 February 2022
Moreton Bay Region Council chucked out the Valentine’s chocolates to show wildlife love with a seasonal safety trial. Wildlife’s Queensland Projects Manager Matt Cecil was on site (along with some furry friends from Geckoes Wildlife Presentations) for the launch.
This Valentine’s Day in Moreton Bay, it’s all about getting cuddly with some of our cutest locals … our native animals.
Mayor Peter Flannery said Council was sharing the love with native wildlife by launching an eye-catching road safety trial.
“We’ve chucked out the chocolates and got rid of the roses and are instead showing our native animals the love with a fresh new way to get drivers to put the brakes on,” Mayor Flannery said.
“Our wildlife has been getting all loved up during breeding season, meaning our parks and forests are now teeming with joeys who are making their way out into the world, placing them at risk when it comes to the roadways.”
Council’s Green Infrastructure team has designed large high-visibility corflute signage in the shape of koalas and kangaroos, bearing the simple messages ‘Stay Alert,’ ‘Slow Down,’ and ‘Take Care.’
The signs have been installed at 12 sites across Moreton Bay for the 10-day trial, starting on February 14.
The material is like that used for roadwork and building sites signage, meaning they’re also reflective when illuminated by passing headlights at night.
Mayor Flannery said that, sadly, Council gets more than 700 calls a year to remove deceased animals from its roads.
“Our vision for the future is to ‘go green as we grow,’ and driving down the road toll for our animals is a huge part of that mission,” he said.
“We want to help drivers avoid animal collisions, and prevent injuries and fatalities, as well as costly insurance claims.”
Division 11 Councillor Darren Grimwade said Council received more than 120 requests each year asking for more animal warning signs.
“We’ll use the data collected from both the signed and non-signed locations to see how effective this program is,” Cr Grimwade said.
“These corflute signs are designed to be a seasonal response to the risk of wildlife on roads during breeding and joey seasons and can be rapidly deployed as needed.
“They’re just one of a range of Council’s driver awareness measures such as VMS boards and permanent roadside signage and road stencils, and fauna movement infrastructure. I’m confident they’ll make a real difference.”
Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland’s Projects Manager, Matt Cecil, said animal strikes remain a significant issue.
“I love the shape of the signs – they’re eye-grabbing, they’re large, they’re novel, they’re new – I think they’re going to create some interest within the community, and the message to slow down and be aware in areas where you see these signs will be loud and clear,” Matt said.
Renowned animal expert Martin Fingland from Geckoes Wildlife Presentations said the novel shapes were also sure to grab children’s attention.
“It’s often the kids that say to Mum and Dad, ‘Hey, there could be koalas along here. I’ve just seen the sign. Then, for the rest of that drive, they’re looking for koalas or kangaroos or whatever it happens to be.’”