FUNDING BOOST SAFEGUARD THE FUTURE OF KOALAS
Member for Lismore Thomas George has welcomed the release of the NSW Koala Strategy by the Premier and the Minister for the Environment. This is the biggest commitment by any state government towards securing the much-loved marsupial in the wild.
Mr George said the NSW Koala Strategy is a major step forward for koala conservation in Lismore and across NSW and will support a range of conservation actions over the next three years, to stabilise koala numbers across the State.
“$20 million in funding through the NSW Koala Strategy will allow the purchase of priority koala habitat,” Mr George said.
“A corridor will be established along the Queensland border in the area around Mt Lindesay. It will be managed as a koala reserve to improve management for koala conservation.
“This commitment means properties which show evidence of use by koalas and which are well-connected to surrounding vegetation will be permanently reserved. These new reserves will allow koalas to move between areas, recolonise and maintain genetic diversity.
“Under the initiative $4.5 million has been allocated to caring for sick or injured koalas across NSW and returning them to the wild. I have been working closely with Tony Gillding from the Macadamia Castle, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to secure funding to enable the building of the wildlife animal hospital in Lismore.
“This will now provide the opportunity to secure funds for Tony and his committee to develop the Development Application and enable him to do the appropriate studies for this hospital.
“Moving forward we invite the community to attend workshops to provide vital local knowledge to help develop koala conservation actions and improve the safety and health of koalas. Details can be found on the OEH website.
Announcing the $44.7 million package to support the NSW Koala Strategy, Minister Upton said the community expects the iconic koala to be protected.
“The NSW Koala Strategy will ensure our koalas are safeguarded for future generations” Ms Upton said.
“A key pillar of the NSW Koala Strategy is investing in new reserves for koalas and conserving koala habitat. Over 24,000 hectares of land will be managed for koala conservation.
“This is in addition to the $20 million committed to purchase priority koala habitat.”
The NSW Koala Strategy sets out actions to stabilise koala numbers across the State including:
- $3.3 million to fix priority road-kill hotspots across NSW.
- $3 million to build a koala hospital at Port Stephens.
- $8.9 million to improve our knowledge of koalas starting with the development of a state-wide koala habitat information base.
- $5 million to deliver local actions to protect koala populations, through the Saving Our Species program
- A new single wildlife rescue call number making it easier for people to alert authorities to injured or sick koalas.
In March 2016 the NSW Government asked the Chief Scientist & Engineer to conduct an independent review into the decline of NSW koalas. This led to a report which recommended a whole-of-government koala strategy for NSW.
For more information about the NSW Koala Strategy visit - www.environment.nsw.gov.au/koalas