The council said as well as being critical koala, squirrel glider and grey goshawk habitat, it was a key link between Cabbage Tree Creek and Albany Creek bushland corridors.
The property developers have appealed the council’s rejection in the Planning and Environment Court, arguing the development complies with City Plan 2014 legislation, would satisfy an unmet town planning and community need and could “be undertaken without any unacceptable impacts”.
The developers, while maintaing the proposal is fully compliant with the plan, argue it could be changed to avoid any non-compliance rather than refused.
The development as it stands involves several stages, including a service station, childcare centre and 39 townhouses.
More than 120 public submissions were made during the consultation period, most objecting to the proposal as too big and inappropriate for the site.
BCC opposition leader Jared Cassidy said the council needed to buy the land to protect koalas.
“[Lord mayor] Adrian Schrinner needs to stop wasting ratepayer funds in a developer court battle and buy this land to protect Brisbane’s wildlife,” Cr Cassidy said.
“This is one of the most significant pieces of habitat in the Mountain to Mangroves Corridor and is home to a large koala community.”
Cr Schrinner this week said the council wanted to see the koala habitat on the site protected.
“We didn’t believe the proposal was appropriate for the site,” Cr Schrinner said.
“This, I understand, is now going through a court process and obviously we hope to see out of that court process a good, positive outcome which will see the habitat preserved.”
Cr Schrinner said koala habitat mapping was a joint responsibility between the council and the state government, with the state government responsible for detailed koala mapping used by local authorities for assessing development applications.
Lucy is the urban affairs reporter for the Brisbane Times, with a special interest in Brisbane City Council.