A devastating 2020 report found that logging and bushfires were placing koalas under grave threat – with projections estimating that, by 2050, the entire population of koalas in NSW could become extinct. In response to these figures, a considered effort has been made by the NSW government to inject much-needed funding into the conservation of our nation’s favourite furry friends.
After making big campaign promises to save the koala, Chris Minns and his government are putting their money where their mouths are and have announced a huge boost into protecting and securing koala habitats in south-west Sydney. The sum to the tune of $80 million will be split up into a number of different areas of focus.
Firstly, $48 million will go towards creating a new Georges River National Park, which will cover 1,830 hectares of protected land that will hopefully provide safe, dense bushland for koalas free from logging.
“Establishing a national park and putting more money into infrastructure to keep koalas safe around roads will ensure generations to come will still be able to see koalas in the wild,” said environment minister Penny Sharpe.
Another $26 million will be used to build three new koala crossings in south-west Sydney, providing safe ways for the koala population to roam near densely populated suburban areas.
And, lastly, $5.7 million will be used to fund koala care in the Macarthur area.
Another positive development: logging was ordered to cease across 106 koala-populated areas on the NSW mid-north coast. Before the push came from the government, these areas known as ‘koala hubs’ were under direct threat from the private logging industry. Since then, plans have been made to establish Great Koala National Park in the area, which has been one of the major projects that has come under the $172 million koala conservation budget from the NSW government.