Photos reveal ‘koala carnage’ on Bruce Highway
GRAPHIC images taken along the Bruce Highway show a koala lying dead on the side of the road.
The shocking pictures, shared with the Daily Mercury, have sparked a call to better protect native wildlife living near the region's roads.
Aimee Mackay-Payne described the scene as "koala carnage" after documenting what the saw while travelling the highway to Cairns earlier this month.
"I was absolutely appalled to see the carnage of our native animals on the Bruce Highway," she said.
"In particular, koala populations being wiped out by trucks that just do not slow down."
Ms Mackay-Payne said she saw six dead koalas on the trip, with most on the stretch between
Marlborough and Carmila to St Lawrence and Flaggy Rock.
She proposed koala populations could be protected along that area by the development of an overhead crossing areas so koalas are not forced to cross the road or the lowering of the speed limit.
"Unbelievably this section of the Bruce Highway is not a 100km/h zone but 110km/h," she said.
Another of her suggestions was to install speed bumps so trucks and other vehicles were forced to comply, like is done to protect the cassowaries further north.
A Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said conservation and protection of native fauna informed road design, construction and maintenance.
She said the cost of installing fencing or other measures along the length of the Bruce Highway would be prohibitive.
The spokeswoman said revegetating fauna corridors, fences and signs, and designing roads with native fauna in mind were all ways to protect native species.
A koala crossing sign at St Lawrence advised drivers to take care for the next 20km and included contact details for Fauna Rescue Whitsundays.
A dedicated underpass near the top of the $189.26 million Eton Range provided a safe crossing for koalas and other fauna, and fauna fencing was installed at Denison Creek, near Nebo, last year to encourage animals to pass under the bridge.
The department commissioned a koala research study to track their movements and identify where crossings or other infrastructure could be installed along the Peak Downs Highway.