A new $270,000 project koala in the Pottsville Wetland offers the first glimmer of hope for the endangered species in the area for some time.
At an onsite announcement earlier this week, NSW environment minister Mark Speakman said the NSW Environmental Trust would provide a grant of $99,283 over three years towards the project.
Tweed Shire Council will fund the balance through a cash and in-kind contribution of $170,000.
The project aims to encourage community involvement to help protect and restore koala habitat,
Council’s community and natural resources director Tracey Stinson welcomed the sate government funding.
‘The Tweed Coast’s koala community was recently declared endangered by the NSW Scientific Committee, which just highlights the importance of projects such as this,’ Ms Stinson said.
‘Pottsville Wetland is a unique environmental asset at the back door of the Pottsville community that provides critical habitat for the declining Tweed Coast koala population,’ she added.
‘As part of this project, we will encourage the active involvement of neighbours of the Pottsville Wetland and the broader community, so we can work together to protect and enhance Pottsville Wetland and its koalas.’
‘As a bonus, this project will also benefit a host of other threatened species and Endangered Ecological Communities at this site as well as complementing similar actions Council is undertaking across 268 hectares of its adjoining coastal koala reserve system at Pottsville,’ she said.
The project aims to:
- Increase primary koala habitat within and adjacent to the Pottsville Wetland
- Reduce threats to koalas from domestic dogs
- Reduce threats to other threatened fauna (such as ground nesting birds) from foxes and cats
- Improve habitat condition and reduce weeds
- Improve fire management
- Involve the community and schools through koala conservation activities
This project will form part of the overall Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management, which council hopes will help the Tweed Coast koala population recover to more sustainable levels over the next 20 years. For more information see www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Koalas