Will Gladys Save Sydney's Koalas?
Total Environment Centre gave provisional support today for the NSW state government’s recently announced $20 million private land purchase program which is intended to preserve critical koala habitat.
“Given the dire projections for the survival of our national icon, this is a start but much more will need to be done to stop development chopping up remaining habitat,” said TEC’s Urban Sustainability campaigner, Saul Deane.
Koala habitat in NSW has dwindled alarmingly fast over the past ten years as housing development and infrastructure projects have eroded surviving bushland areas, including critical wildlife habitat in Western Sydney. TEC, local councils, community groups and wildlife carers have repeatedly urged the state government to act, as more trees are lost and more koalas killed on roadways.
“We are pleased to see, at the eleventh hour, that Gladys Berejiklian is prepared to invest in a NSW koala strategy which to date has been long on rhetoric and short on practical long-term preservation measures. However fully funding a long-term conservation plan for western Sydney will be a crucial element,” said TEC’s Director, Jeff Angel.
Saul Deane furthered suggested that the test of the program will be the inclusion of the Mount Gilead Estate near Campbelltown, which is about to be bulldozed.
“The survival of the entire koala species in this country may hinge on preserving Sydney’s koalas”, said Mr Deane. “This is the only chlamydia free population left in Australia. For this reason alone, Mt Gilead, which provides these koalas with the only wildlife corridor connecting the Georges and Nepean Rivers in the entire Western Sydney region, is essential to their survival.”
Mr Angel said TEC will seek a meeting with the Premier and her Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, as soon as possible.
For more info please contact Saul Deane: 0421255323