MidCoast Council adopts Koala Conservation Strategy

Council has adopted its new koala strategy.

THE LGA’s Koala Conservation Strategy was adopted by Councillors at the June 26 meeting of MidCoast Council.

The strategy was placed on public exhibition from 25 March to 6 May 2024, with Council receiving 38 submissions, totalling 169 comments from the community and government agencies.

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The exhibited draft strategy was amended in response to community feedback before being presented to Council for adoption.

The major changes related to actions to address feral deer impacts, local conservation area planning, and the nomination of priority koala populations as Assets of Intergenerational Significance.

The development of the MidCoast Koala Conservation Strategy was funded through the NSW Koala Strategy with significant in-kind support facilitated by Council’s Environmental Rate.

It was informed by a period of community consultation with a wide range of stakeholder groups across the MidCoast during the pre-exhibition phase.

Significant government funding of over $3 million has already been obtained by Council through the NSW Koala Strategy to deliver a range of projects identified in the Strategy over the next two years.

“Given the threat of extinction, a strategy to guide the conservation of the local koala population is vital,” said Gerard Tuckerman, Council’s Manager Natural Systems.

“The ‘Black Summer’ bushfires wreaked havoc on the koalas, but there are also ongoing threats, including land clearing, vehicle strike, and disease.

“The MidCoast region contains some of the highest recorded densities of koalas in NSW and can play a valuable role in the conservation and recovery of koalas in a State-wide context.”

The Strategy will form part of Council’s existing koala conservation program – Koala Safe Spaces, and guide its continued implementation over the next five years.

The Strategy recommends a suite of actions under five categories, including habitat protection, restoration and connectivity; threat mitigation; education, engagement and the integration of Traditional Owner knowledge; research, monitoring, health and welfare; advocacy, funding and partnering.

The Strategy is not a regulatory document.

It will not obligate any landholder to undertake the recommended actions and will not result in any additional planning restrictions being imposed on the future development of privately owned land.

The successful conservation of koalas and their habitat will rely on a collaborative approach across all levels of government and the development of partnerships with other organisations and the community.

You can view the MidCoast Koala Conservation Strategy at https://haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/koala-strategy.

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