KOALA CAPITAL ASKED TO HELP SHAPE SPECIES STRATEGY
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson is encouraging the local community to help shape the direction of the NSW Government’s state-wide koala strategy, which aims to secure and increase NSW koala numbers.
The NSW Government will embark on a whole-of-government koala strategy and spend $10 million over five years to acquire vital koala habitat, following the release of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane AC’s Report of the Independent Review into the Decline of Koala Populations in Key Areas of NSW.
“Our region is well known for koalas, of course with Gunnedah being the Koala Capital of the World, so developing an overarching strategy and identifying target areas for conservation is extremely important,” Mr Anderson said.
“We need to secure this iconic Australian species for future generations which is why an important part of this process will be engaging with the community so that we can gain their valuable input to help shape the plan.
“The aim of the strategy is simple; reduce threats to koalas and improve research. A combination of these things will go a long way to ensuring the survival of the species.”
A three-month consultation program will include regional community information sessions, stakeholder meetings and webinars. People will also be able to access a web portal for information and to provide feedback.
Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the strategy would also complement the koala conservation work already being done under the NSW Government’s flagship $100 million Saving our Species program. This work includes projects which improve koala habitat and trial artificial water sources for koalas to mitigate heat stress.
“It’s important for communities, especially those with local koala populations, to get involved in local information sessions so we can secure and eventually increase koala populations across NSW,” Mr Speakman said.
To comment on the strategy’s direction visit http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/nsw-koala-strategy.htm and to find out more about the NSW Government’s koala conservation efforts through the Saving our Species program visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspecies/ProposedPASAmendments.htm.