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Want to save Sydney’s koalas, Minister? Here’s our top tips

Environment Minister Matt Kean doesn’t have to wait for the Chief Scientist’s advice before acting to save the state’s only chlamydia-free koala colony.  

Environment Minister Matt Kean told a Budget Estimates hearing yesterday he was awaiting advice from the Chief Scientist before deciding how to save the koalas of southwest Sydney, the only chlamydia-free colony in NSW. [1] 

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, or even the Chief Scientist, to know that you can only save koalas by saving their habitat,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

“This doesn’t need to be complex. Here’s two things the government could do today to save southwest Sydney’s koala colony.  

“First, it could put a moratorium on the Lend Lease development at Gilead, which in its current form will decimate some of the best koala habitat left in the Sydney Basin. 

“Second, it could either buy the land and manage it for koala conservation or else require the developer to retain and revegetate 450-m wide habitat corridors so koalas can keep moving up and down the Georges River and down to the Illawarra. 

“The extinction clock is ticking loudly and its almost midnight.  

“The weakening of protections after the National’s threatened to blow up the Coalition have exposed koalas to the ongoing threat of deforestation for property development, agriculture and logging.  

“The government’s Koala Strategy is overdue by many months and with every passing day more koala habitat is lost because of government paralysis. It’s time to act.”  

Mr Gambian said the government should also: 

  • Create the Great Koala National Park that conservation groups have proposed for the Mid-north Coast.  
  • Reinstate Koala SEPP 19 and protect koala trees across the whole state.  
  • Put a moratorium on native forest logging until impacts on koalas and other native species can be fully assessed. 
  • Give farmers and other property owners incentives to protect habitat on private land.  

REFERENCES 

[1] Environment Minister Matt Kean says NSW not doing enough for koala population, ABC, 26-10-21

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