Coinciding with National Threatened Species Day on 7th September is a great boost for Port Stephens koalas with an additional $30,000 of NSW Government funding to safeguard the Port Stephens resident koala population from bushfire, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC announced today.
Mr MacDonald said that under the NSW Government’s Saving our Species Program this funding will go towards the ‘Port Stephens Koala Project’ in partnership with Port Stephens Council.
“With today being National Threatened Species Day it’s great to able to mark it by securing this funding for our iconic koala,” Mr MacDonald said.
“The NSW Government is also developing a whole-of-government koala strategy on the Chief Scientist and Engineer’s recommendation to help us to increase our knowledge about koalas, including their habitat, population trends and the threats to their survival.”
The Port Stephens Koala Project will develop a fire management plan for koalas and their habitat in the Port Stephens area and to continue to engage the broader Port Stephens community in koala awareness programs.
Wayne Wallis, Port Stephens Council General Manager, said "Koalas are undoubtedly one of Port Stephens' most iconic and important natural assets and the threats to koala habitat and populations are very real and concerning.
“This funding from the NSW State Government will support Council's efforts toward engaging the community on awareness of koalas, their habitats and the challenges they face.”
"This grant demonstrates the Government's support of Council's commitment to preserving koala habitat and protecting this treasured natural asset,"
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said this project is one of 19 across the state being funded this year to help secure the survival of this iconic species.
“The NSW Government is committed to coordinating efforts to stabilise and ultimately increase the numbers of koalas across NSW. A whole-of-government koala strategy is being developed to achieve this,” Ms Upton said.
More than $1.8 million has already been invested in koala conservation across NSW through the Saving our Species program since 2012–13 with another $800,000 allocated for the 2017–18 budget.
For more information on Iconic Koala Projects go to: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/threatened-species/saving-our-species-program/threatened-species-conservation/iconic-species
Scot MacDonald | 0408 450 032