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Government should pay for koala surveys and plans of management

The Nature Conservation Council calls on the NSW Government to reimburse small landholders the cost of pre-development koala surveys and to fund local councils to formulate koala plans of management.

“We all want to save koalas from extinction so it makes sense for the government to support all practical measures that will protect them,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“The conservation movement stands ready to sit down with farmers in good faith and work through any issues they have with the provisions of the Koala Habitat Protection State Environment Planning Policy. [1]

“We know the overwhelming majority of farmers care deeply about the land, bushland and wildlife in their care.

“Reimbursing the costs of pre-development koala surveys for small landholders is a very practical way the government can help landholders play their part in conserving koalas for future generations.

“We have said from the start that the Koala Habitat Protection State Environmental Planning Policy falls short of what’s required, but it is an improvement and should be retained.” [2]

Mr Gambian said another practical measure the government should take is to give local councils the resources they need to complete koala plans of management.

“One of the failings of the current system is that only six of the almost 90 councils with koalas have completed koala plans of management,” he said.

“Part of the problem is that some councils are hostile to koala conservation. Others simply lack the resources to create the plan.

“If the NSW Government is serious about koala conservation, it should make the development of koala plans of management mandatory for all identified regions and ensure all councils have the resources they need to implement them.

“The cost of KPOMs varies but are in the order of $150,000. The government could facilitate the development of KPOMs for the whole state for a little more than $12 million.”

[1] State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) 2019

[2] Tinkering with the koala SEPP will not save the species, Nature Conservation Council, December 2019 

 

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