The plight of Koalas generates a lot of talk. Living with Koalas will endeavour to discover if the people who talk-the-talk can actually walk-the-walk to make a difference in halting the rapidly declining koala numbers in the wild. One thing is for certain – without meaningful human action koalas will be extinct in the wild. Then we can talk about what Australia has lost.
PORT MACQUARIE HASTING COUNCIL
11.4.2016 Matt Rogers, Environment Director: “We have an expert panel and a community panel, where we are looking at broader planning for koalas right across the local government area….The information is suggesting that we may be at a threshold moment where we need to do more to manage koala populations, so we don’t end up with a long term decline in the population.”
27.7.2016 Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Peter Besseling said “It is important that all stakeholders are involved, and that consideration is given to ideas that will benefit the future of the koala population in our area”.
THE WALK since 11.4.16
15,6,18 COASTAL KOALA PLAN OF MANAGEMENT Version: 3 DRAFT February 2018 (posted on council website
Note: This document is a consultation draft only. It has not been adopted by Council and is not Council policy.
[version 1 6.6.17 was an internal working draft. 8.7.18 – When will Council and adopt the policy?]
16.3.18 DRAFT KOALA RECOVERY STRATEGY 2017
Version 0.1 / Last saved 16/03/2018 12:38 PM
Message from the mayor Peta Pinson: In 2013, Biolink prepared a comprehensive report on the state of koala populations and habitat in our area. The report identified the need for council to take a proactive approach to identifying important habitat areas and setting out a management framework. Council is committed to providing habitat for our koalas to ensure a permanent free-living population over their present range.
[8.7.18: 5 years later the Koala Recovery Strategy it is still in Draft form]
13.1.2017 AN APP:Port Macquarie-Hastings Council have partnered with the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to develop a new app. that provides improved access to data, and collection of valuable information on our local koala population.
Update as of 23.8.17:The Koala app developed for the Koala hospital has now been operational for almost 9 months and has proven to be an excellent resource to efficiently collect the locational data of Koala sightings and hospital call outs.
6.2.17. 2017 TRAINING DOGS to live with koalas. Dog attacks on koalas are one of three main causes for the ongoing decline in our local koala population, and the project aims to reduce these attacks through specialist training as part of the 12 month pilot.
Update as of 23.8.17 The project is underway with the training of 20 dogs and their owners under the guidance of local dog trainers using operant training techniques devised by Steven Austin. The trial programme is approximately half way through with some early promising results. We expect the training and final assessment of this project to be completed in early November, from which stage Council will be in a position to provide further detail / media exposure. [8.7.18 – no update on council website]
12.4.2017 KOALA GRANTS from NSW Government” Port Macquarie-Hastings Council accepts two koala-related grants. A total of $62,000 in grants will help protect our koalas and provide information on koala movements. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has accepted grant offers of $48,000 for a koala road strike project and $14,000 towards a koala monitoring project. The funding, from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, is through a program which aims to reverse the decline of the state’s koala population.
[update as of 23.8.17] Road Strikes: Addressing the highest priority koala road strike area (Ocean Drive) is underway. Council has secured a grant from NSW OEH to undertake road pavement and signage treatments and to design a fit for purpose koala fence for the hugest priority sections of Ocean Drive ( between Koala Street and The Golf Course). Road pavement treatments and signage is expected to be installed this spring. Fence installation is contingent upon securing external funds.
14.12.17 Koala conservation
Loss of habitat, road strikes, and dog attacks are responsible for more than half of koala fatalities and our local commitment has seen a number of initiatives implemented across the region, and some that are paving the way for koala conservation right across the country….Right now, local koala conservation strategies are being improved to ensure the future of our koalas amidst significant population growth and the urban development of our region. read more of the Talk on the PMHC website
17.4.18 Have your say and protect our Koalas
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is seeking feedback and asking the community to have your say on key koala strategy and planning documents that aim to protect our local koalas….“We are so fortunate to live in a region that supports a nationally significant population of this iconic species. We need to act now so that our local koalas don’t disappear, or else we risk losing them forever,” said Ms Doherty. [Council Group Manager Maria Doherty]. “We really want to hear what our entire community has to say about our koalas so tell us what you think by attending one of our drop-in sessions or fill out a quick survey on our website to have your say.”
(8.7.18 – no updates on council website.] Link to the Council website.
6.12.16 NSW Government pledges $10 million to purchase koala habitat.Koalas will breathe a little easier after the announcement of a five-year, $10 million NSW government project to purchase and permanently conserve land of priority koala habitat. Read the article
11.5.17 update: “Purchasing land with high-priority koala habitat.The NSW Government has allocated funding to purchase properties in New South Wales with priority koala habitat for management and conservation within the national parks system. How much money is available to purchase land for koalas? The NSW Government has allocated $10 million over five years to purchase and permanently conserve land in the national parks system that contains priority koala habitat. Starting in 2016–17 and running through to 2020–21, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) aims to spend around $2 million each year purchasing priority koala habitat.,,, ” Read the article
Update 26.8.17 from a report in the Gold Coast Bulletin: THE koala population in Tweed-Brunswick has received a boost with the NSW Government buying 100 hectares of conservation land in Pottsville for their protection.. Ms Upton [Gabrielle Uption, NSW Minister for the Environment] said the NSW Government had started developing a whole-of-government koala strategy, as recommended by New South Wale’s chief scientist and engineer Professor Mary O’Kane AC. “This strategy will complement the koala conservation work already being done under the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program,” Ms Upton said. “Last year we also committed to investing $10 million over five years to acquire vital koala habitat — this investment is on top of the land purchase in Pottsville.” read article
20.7.17 from an article by Greg Miskelly for the ABC: A koala habitat 50 per cent larger than the Royal National Park has been destroyed by logging, according to a new conservation report… A spokesperson for Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said she was committed to “stabilise and ultimately increase the numbers of koalas” and is “developing a whole-of-government koala strategy” to complement its conservation work. Read the article