BAY locals are set to celebrate after an announcement by Duty MLC for Port Stephens Catherine Cusack that the Bay is to get $3million for a Koala Hospital.
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The hospital will provide world class care for sick and injured koalas from the region.
In the past many of Port Stephens koalas were transported to Port Macquarie for treatment which they will now get locally.
The hospital has the support of Port Stephens Council, and the Port Stephens Koala Hospital will be sited at the Council managed Treescape facility at One Mile Beach.
Catherine Cusack Duty MLC for Port Stephens said, “Port Stephens Koala Hospital will have a special statewide role in terms of research and education, it is recognition of the significance of the local coastal koala population and the skills and advocacy of the Port Stephens Community.”
The new Port Stephens Koala hospital will have an operating and treatment room, and four intensive care rooms along with outdoor rehabilitation pens.
The facility will also participate in a breeding program which will form a base for scientific research into disease control as part of the new hospital.
The project is funded by the NSW Governments Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund.
The hospital will also be an educational and tourism attraction with tourism funding the services and it is forecast that the koala hospital will inject over $1 million to the local economy each year.
While locals are celebrating the hospital there has been concern around the proposed sale of land by Council near the Mambo Wanda Wetlands core koala habitat site.
Mayor Ryan Palmer told News Of The Area, “The block of land in question is not adjacent to Mambo Wanda Wetlands and is zones R2, if approved its sale will go towards funding the master plan for the Sports Complex at Salamander Bay.
“Council is also working on some new roadway signage to alert drivers when they are entering zones where koalas are active in a view to prevent vehicle strikes,” he said.
For more information about the NSW Koala Strategy visit: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/koalas.
By Marian SAMPSON