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Eurobodalla Koala Project: short progress report on the funded habitat fieldwork

Keith Joliffe reports good progress on the Commonwealth-funded habitat fieldwork priority for this year, after a long bushfire & COVID delay.

Keith advises that the first plot surveys (Deua National Park) are scheduled for 16th and 23rd July with NPWS staff will be accompanying a full team of volunteers.

"The Forestry Corporation NSW Research Permit approval has come through also, so that means we can start organising the Moruya State Forest and Dampier State Forest habitat surveys. The Commonwealth has kindly extended our reporting date."

"Thanks to our ever-growing pool of talented and committed volunteers we have good background research and a GIS component ready to go.

"The drone images from May 8th were great. The location of this one is on Little Sugarloaf Road midway across our patch of interest.

"I've undertaken a virtual plot survey using them. They've also been shared with NPWS at their request.

"Stay tuned to our website eurokoalas.com." The Report from the NSW Upper House Inquiry into the State’s Koala Populations and their Habitat, released today after a year-long Inquiry, must be a gamechanger for the government to protect more koala habitat if they don’t want to see the koala become extinct before 2050, said Committee Chair and Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.

“This report must be a gamechanger for koalas and the protection of their habitat in NSW. What became crystal clear during this Inquiry was that without urgent government intervention the koala will become extinct in NSW before 2050,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“The report found that habitat loss and fragmentation was the biggest threat to koalas, yet at every turn we were handed evidence that showed our current laws are inadequate and facilitating the clearing of core koala habitat. “The strategies and policies currently in place to protect the koala aren’t working, like the NSW Koala Strategy which fails in ensuring enough koala habitat is protected for the different koala populations across the state. “There must be a significant increase in koala habitat protected from logging, mining, land clearing and urban development. The government needs to incentivise farmers so they’re paid more to protect trees on their land instead of clearing them and overhaul the failed biodiversity offsetting scheme which allows core koala habitat to be cleared. “There are two proposed new national parks put forward by the committee for the government to investigate to protect some koala populations from immediate threats. They are the Georges River National Park in Sydney’s South West and the Great Koala National Park on the mid-north coast.

“Climate change, which exacerbated the drought and the recent devastating bushfires is a significant threat to koalas. The committee recommends that the Government factor in climate change as a key consideration in the drafting of all relevant legislation and planning strategies and ensure climate change mitigation is a core component of all strategies to save the koala in New South Wales.

“It was heartening to have members from all sides of politics working together on a shared mission to come up with recommendations that would go to the government in order to save the koala in NSW. Bar a couple of findings that were particularly critical of the government’s koala strategy, I see this as a consensus report for the government to urgently act upon,” said Ms Faehrmann.

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