Koala protection groups pen letter to NSW Premier for faster action on population crisis

A coalition of 17 wildlife protection groups have penned an open letter to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet calling for the states Koala Strategy to be published sooner rather than later.

The group says without the strategy and land clearing codes, crucial habitat is being cleared across the state.

They’re calling for strong land clearing protections, as well as two parcels of land, one on the North Coast and one in south western Sydney, to be declared Koala Parks. The declaration would see over 180,000 hectares of land set aside for Koala conservation.

It’s no secret that koala populations have been in trouble for years. This was exacerbated by the Black Summer Bushfires, with some reports saying more than 60,000 koalas were impacted by the crisis.

President of Hunter Wildlife Rescue Audrey Koosman is one of the co-signatories of the letter and says the national icon is in very serious danger.

“They’re having their habitat knocked down daily and fragmenting their corridors. These animals are ending up in places we have never seen them before and we are wondering why they’re there as there is no record of them ever being there.

“Then when you begin to investigate and you head up the road 40kms or so, all their habitat is gone.

“We’ve got a koala in at the moment, but we have no where to return him. The habitat that he came out of has now been demolished for a housing development.

“There are no regulations on that housing development for koalas at all. What do we do with this animal? Where do we put him? He’s just sitting here in limbo,” Ms Koosman said.

During an estimates hearing last month Environment Minister Matt Kean said a program aimed at protecting the states koala population would be released “very soon”, in response to a grilling about lack of action on the previous plan.

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