Fauna fencing underway along Hogbin Drive

Rex, a young male koala rescued from the Coffs Harbour Airport runway in August 2023. He was observed for any internal injuries, tagged and released in September.

FAUNA exclusion fencing along Hogbin Drive is in the process of being installed by City of Coffs Harbour (CoCH), funded through a NSW Government Koala Program grant.

The funding was approved in April 2022.

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With work underway, CoCH published an update on 7 March 2024 which received negative feedback from the community, concerned that the fence design would be ineffectual.

CoCH has now provided further details, explaining the fencing is a work-in-progress.

“The final grant agreement for the fauna exclusion fence did not specify a distance, but the City is in the process of using the available funds to construct more than two kilometres of fencing,” a spokesperson for City of Coffs Harbour told News Of The Area.

“The fence line is not in one single run and was installed in accordance with the following considerations: koala sightings including past fatalities, adjacent koala habitat, low lying wetland areas that do not support suitable trees and where the ground is too wet to support the fence posts, and existing infrastructure such as water/sewer/electricity/phone lines.”

Local WIRES Koala Coordinator Zaiga Deist said the fencing was a step in the right direction.

“WIRES Coffs Harbour branch welcomes the commencement of mitigation works designed to reduce the risk to koalas along Hogbin Drive, and looks forward to the completion of the fencing,” she said.

“Wildlife fencing can be part of an effective road mitigation strategy, especially when linked to wildlife crossings,” Zaiga told NOTA.

“A key feature of wildlife fence design is ensuring there are no gaps, as gaps can allow wildlife to get on to the road.

“Effective wildlife fencing designs also require either what is known as a ‘floppy top’ or integrated metal sheeting at the top to prevent koalas being able to climb up and over.

“Once the metal sheeting is installed, there’s no remaining gaps and in conjunction with the camera monitoring, WIRES hopes to see a significant reduction in the number of koalas and other wildlife injured and killed on Hogbin Drive,” she said.


One thought on “Fauna fencing underway along Hogbin Drive

  1. It was a tragedy to see a dead koala on Hogbin Drive on Sunday, April 28th just north of the airport roundabout especially after fencing was put up on either side of the road. All that money spent by the council just to create a gauntlet that koalas cant get out of once they have scaled the fencing. Let us all hope this wont be a regular occurrence.

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