Labor commits $2 million for Port Stephens Koala Hospital

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington with volunteers and staff at the Port Stephens Koala Hospital. Photo: Kelly Hammond.

KOALAS and their iconic status in the Port Stephens area will be better cared for, should they become sick or injured, as NSW Labor representatives announced a $2 million commitment on 15 March.

Labor MLC and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, along with Labor MP for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, announced the commitment to provide essential care and rehabilitation in the Port Stephens area.

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“The people of Port Stephens are proud of our koala hospital, which is powered by hundreds of volunteers,” said Ms Washington, who recalled the first sketches of the Hospital laid across her desk and subsequent securing of seed funding.

The aim of the commitment is to assist the Port Stephens Koala Hospital in its ability to care for injured wildlife, making sure that no sick or injured koala is ever turned away from the Hospital, with funding to cover veterinary and nursing services and more surgical procedures.

“The Port Stephens Koala Hospital is helping to secure the Port Stephens koala population by caring for and rehabilitating sick and injured koalas to give them the best chance of returning to the wild.

“This funding will help them continue their important work,” stated Ms Sharpe.

“This is a wonderful commitment of sorely needed funds to prevent the extinction of koalas in Port Stephens,” Ron Land, President of the Port Stephens Koala Hospital told NOTA.

Koalas face numerous threats to their existence these days, including habitat loss, chlamydia infection, dog attacks and road strikes.

“Koalas in NSW are in trouble, and on track to be extinct in the wild by 2050, unless urgent action is taken,” Ms Sharpe noted.

“Saving Port Stephens’ koala population is important for the continued survival of koalas in NSW.”

The Labor commitment forms part of a strategic refocus of the NSW Koala Strategy, and long-term plans for the establishment of specific Great Koala National Park on the Mid North Coast, and species recovery plans into the future.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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