Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary at One Mile Beach Opens

Noah’s Ark veterinarian checking on Daisy. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

THE Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary at One Mile Beach is open.

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The opening was attended by many who assisted funding the project including NSW Energy and Environment .Minister Matt Kean, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack, Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson, Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer and other Councillors.

The $9 million facility was funded through a range of streams including $3 million from the NSW Government, as well as funds raised by local not-for-profit group Port Stephens Koalas and funds committed by the Federal and local government.

The sanctuary provides a unique tourism offering where visitors can experience glamping within the sanctuary.

The beautifully landscaped facility includes a wonderful canopy walkway sponsored by Newcastle Airport with koala feed trees, some of which were donated by the Greater Bank.

The facility is a testament to what can be achieved when a community comes together and collaborates with volunteers, business and governments.

The new tourism facility will provide much needed funds to the care and support injured koalas in the well equipped hospital.

It boasts humidicribs, donated by the John Hunter Hospital, an x-ray machine and negative pressure air conditioned suites for the sick koalas.

A warm Welcome to Country was given by Worimi Elder Uncle John Ridgeway and a smoking ceremony was performed.

Mayor Ryan Palmer said, “Port Stephens Council, the NSW Government and Port Stephens Koalas partnered together to make this possible. This facility is a legacy for future generations to come.

“I know the Minister has committed to doubling koalas in NSW and facilities like this, with a breeding program may help see that dream come true.

“This is all about collaboration, Port Stephens Koalas and the 150 volunteers that they have, the staff at the sanctuary and the NSW government are all working hard to see that Port Stephens koalas are here for many generations to come and I can safely say that this facility here will play a vital role in doing that,” he said.

NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said, “There has been plenty of talk about protecting koalas but there should be no discussion that we need to protect koalas now and into the future; if we want to protect koalas we need to protect their habitat and the best way to protect their habitat is to expand and fortify the National Parks, and that is exactly what I am trying to do.”

“I want NSW to be known as Guula Ngurra which means koala country,” said the Minister.

“Habitat, vehicle strikes, dog attacks, disease and urban interface, genetic diversity all threaten koalas.

“The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is at the forefront in addressing those issues, this is the frontline for our kids and their kids seeing koalas in the wild,” he said.

Kate Washington, Member for Port Stephens and Shadow Minister for the Environment, told News Of The Area, “The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is the last line of defence for the koala.”

While the facility will support the care of koalas, not-for-profit organisation Port Stephens Koalas, will maintain fundraising efforts to continue to offer the highest standard of care to all koalas in need.

You can help save the koalas and Port Stephens Koalas by making a donation, sponsoring a koala or volunteering in a range of capacities, find out more at portstephenskoalas.com.au.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Daisy being treated for chlamydia in the new Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary’s 2.3 million dollar koala hospital. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

Vet Donald of Noah’s Ark with Jax for a check up. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington enjoying the selfie opportunity of the koala sculptures on the educational walkway to the hospital and canopy walk. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean, Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer and member for Port Stephens and Shadow Minister for the Environment Kate Washington at the opening ceremony. Photo by Marian Sampson.

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