The Liberal Government's overdevelopment agenda means koalas are increasingly being spotted in urban environments - clinging to fences to avoid domestic pets or tragically laying on the side of the road after being hit by a car.
Continuing overdevelopment means this situation will only get worse.
NSW Labor has announced a three point plan to save Sydney’s last remaining koala colony.
About 400 koalas live along the Georges River in southwest Sydney. It is the only colony of koalas free from disease in NSW.
Labor’s three point plan will:
- Establish an iconic Koala National Park in southwest Sydney.
- Setting aside approximately 4,000 hectares from Glenfield to Appin along the Georges River. The land is currently owned and managed by the state government and Campbelltown City Council.
- Protecting the koala habitat and allowing koalas to move freely along this bushland corridor.
- Ensure that infrastructure in surrounding areas is built with safeguards to protect the koala population.
- Including requiring the construction of wildlife protection measures along roads like Appin Road and Heathcote Road. This will include overpasses, underpasses and fences.
- Provide $3 million to establish a koala care centre in the Macarthur region.
- Based on the successful models of koala care centres in Lismore and Port Macquarie.
- Labor will work with the local Georges River Koala Network, local councils and local koala carers.
- Currently, the local community is reliant on the generosity of local veterinary services providing their services for free and volunteer rescuers and carers, trying to care for koalas in their homes.
The WWF recently released a report stating that koalas will be extinct in NSW by 2050 on current trends. It identified expanding protected areas and reducing tree clearing as two ways to help save the koalas.
The Berejiklian Government has a dismal record on koalas. Its so-called Koala Strategy, released in May 2018, does not provide funding to protect the koalas of southwest Sydney.
Labor’s plan will give the koalas of southwest Sydney the trees and protection they need as well as helping to keep them safe into the future.