THE NSW Government has released the NSW Koala Strategy 2018–19 Annual Report.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
This is the first report of its kind and it delivers a strategy with the aim of protecting the species and to see it thrive into the future.
Port Stephens is one of the few remaining regions on the NSW coast with a koala population.
The core aims of the strategy are based around habitat conservation, building knowledge, conservation through community action and the safety and health of koala populations.
The strategy details the future conservation of koala habitats as National Parks, creation of new koala reserves, management of crown land, travelling stock reserves and other public land to conserve high quality koala habitat as well as accessing funding through The Biodiversity Conservation Trust.
It further outlines the need to create a Statewide koala habitat information base to inform koala conservation decisions, implement a statewide citizen science koala survey; utilising apps to collect information about koalas and the development of a Koala Strategy monitoring program.
The strategy is about enabling information collected about koalas to be easily accessed by the community, supporting priority koala research including koala responses to native forest harvesting and improving our approach to fire management to protect koalas and their habitat.
Minister for the Environment, the Hon Member of Parliament Matt Kean told News Of The Area, “It’s not just up to government to save our koalas, government has a critically important role to play… but our objectives would not be able to be achieved without the work of community volunteers like Port Stephens Koalas.”
Kathy Brown speaking for the Mambo Wanda Wetland Conservation Group said, “This report does not address the biggest threat to Koalas in NSW which is habitat loss.
“The report has listed mitigation measures such as better research and collection of statistics, funding for the purchase of private property that contains koala habitat and measures so that Koalas can safely navigate roads.”
Speaking before the NSW Parliamentary inquiry, Koala populations and habitat in New South Wales, Stuart Blanch, former Director of Shortland Wetlands and now with World Wildlife Fund, was asked by the Chairperson if the Strategy would achieve its goal… of saving New South Wales koalas in the wild in the next 100 years.
Mr Blanch replied: “I do not think it can.”
“It is the wrong tool.
“There is some good stuff in it… so it is certainly not a whole of government strategy… it does not reflect the environment agency’s view that they have to cut down on land clearing and logging in koala forests.
Kate Washington Member for Port Stephens said, “We know that Port Stephens koalas are endangered, we know that we have to do something, everybody is on board with this and to see community council and state government working together is a great outcome for the community and for the koalas.”
By Marian SAMPSON