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Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

Lismore koala centre gets an $80,000 boost

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A federal grant of almost $80,000 will help transform Lismore’s existing Koala Care Centre into a major educational tourism destination, Page MP Kevin Hogan says.

Mr Page announced the grant for the East Lismore facility as ‘great news for our community and koalas across the North Coast, considering this was such a hotly contested funding round’.

The project will be funded under the federal government’s National Stronger Regions Fund program, and will be matched by the Friends of the Koala.

The works will include the construction of a new access road and building, including fit-out, to house the educational, administrative and volunteer functions of the not-for-profit Friends of the Koala, as well as secure garage for its Rescue Van.

‘This is a terrific project that will increase the number of tourists visiting Lismore and allow the Friends of the Koala to deliver more educational information about koalas to more groups’, Mr Hogan said.

‘It will also extend the range of skills Friends of the Koala currently offers to Centrelink clients and potential volunteers.’

Ros Irwin, vice-president of Friends of the Koala, said that as well as the educational and tourist benefits from the new building, it will also have significant benefits for the koalas taken into care by Friends of the Koala.

‘Our current Care Centre is where everything happens and sometimes it can be quite chaotic and noisy, which isn’t the best environment for those koalas in our three intensive treatment rooms that are contained in the building,’ she said.

‘This new building will be a dedicated and quiet treatment centre for the koalas in care, which can only be beneficial for them.’

A full list of successful round three National Stronger Regions Fund projects will be available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website on Friday, 7 October at www.infrastructure.gov.au.


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  1. I have to wonder if this isn’t a down payment on the koalas who will be injured and displaced by the Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade. This project is destined to ensure major koala mortality and without protection of critical habitat, where will released koalas find homes ?

  2. The demise to extinction of our North Coast koala population where the core habitats of the region are being routinely destroyed by projects such as the Highway upgrade west of Wardell is well documented.

    What is interesting is that if legal proceedings were commenced to halt this extinction the RMS and NSW etc have no qualms forking out half a million on legal bills to defend the indefensible,

    Bit of an insult really, I think they could a stump up a bit more cash than half of an 80k grant.

  3. Makes sense Sue. $80K is a very small price to pay compared to how much they will make by blowing up the mountain for cheap, local fill.

  4. An $80k grant is better than a poke in the eye but its naive and unrealistic to say that this will “increase the number of tourists to Lismore and help make the Koala Care centre in Lismore a major educational tourism destination”
    The destination is Lismore not the Koala centre I live in Lismore’s LGA and much as I am fond of Lismore it’s not a major tourism destination. That requires significant and sustained investment in accommodation, infrastructure, access and branding to disperse people beyond Byron Bay.


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