Sydney Koala Survival Plan
A new plan to protect Sydney’s Koala colony threatened by development on the western edge of the city was released today calling for a national park, wide wildlife corridors and improved state planning controls.
“Habitat destruction was already moving Koalas towards endangered status before the mega bushfire season which caused devastation across New South Wales. Now every effort must be marshalled to protect this iconic species. Sydney’s Macarthur colony has assumed an even greater importance and urgency for protection, as urban development, new major roads and dislocated habitat pose very significant threats,’’ said Jeff Angel, Director of Total Environment Centre.
The colony is exceptional. The Macarthur Region contains the only population listed in NSW as likely to be growing.
The new plan calls for:
- Declaration of the Georges River Koala National Park on government and private lands adjoining the River’s western side and along the Georges River.
- The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces gazette an improved State Environmental Planning Policy that requires upgraded protection of koalas in urban development areas, including wide corridors of 425m.
- The (draft) Campbelltown Koala Management Plan is gazetted and the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan put in place before any further development.
- The Gilead development cannot expand into Stage 2, nor can SE Wilton expand into Allens Creek.
- Effective Koala crossings on Appin Road linking to east-west corridors.’’
“If properly managed the colony could also become the basis for new tourism adding an extra source of jobs and income, particularly in view of the airport and hospitality development in the region,’’ Mr Angel said.
The report can be obtained here.