The Nature Conservation Council and National Parks Association welcome state Labor’s commitment to creating a Great Koala National Park on the north coast.
The Great Koala National Park, if fully implemented as conservationists recommend, would protect 175,000 hectares of publicly owned state forests as National Parks, and boost public access and recreation on the north coast. Today Labor have committed to the establishment of the Great Koala National Park but have omitted detail about its exact location and size.
NCC CEO Kate Smolski said: “Koala numbers across the state, including on the north coast, have plummeted up to 50% since 1990.
“There are now possibly as few as 15,000 left in the wild. On current trends and without urgent action koalas are on track to become extinct by mid-century. That’s why we urgently need to protect their habitat in national parks and stop logging and bulldozing the forests and woodlands where they live.
“The Great Koala National Park is one of the most effective ways the NSW Government can ensure koalas continue to exist in the wild for generations to come. We stand ready to ensure the ALP stays true to their word to establish the Great Koala National Park in a way that will maximise benefits to nature.
National Parks Association EO Gary Dunnett said: “The Great Koala National Park proposal, when fully implemented, will help to arrest the rapid decline of koalas on the north coast and help ensure the long-term viability of the koala population in this region, one of its last strongholds in NSW.
“It is quite clear that if current trends continue and dramatic action is not taken to protect and connect habitat remnants, koalas will become extinct in the wild in NSW, possibly in our lifetime. We must do everything we can to ensure this does not happen. Given the koala’s status as a national icon, we hope that all political parties will support the koala national park proposal.”
About the Great Koala National Park
The Great Koala National Park is one of the conservation movement’s key policy priorities for the 2019 state election. It would comprise 315,000 hectares of public land in the Coffs Harbour region, including 175,000 hectares of state forest and 140,000 hectares of existing conservation reserves. The park would protect an estimated 4,550 koalas, between 20% and 30% of all the koalas left in NSW.
NSW Nature Conservation Council: James Tremain
NSW National Parks Association: Oisin Sweeney
Find out more about the Great Koala National Park: https://koalapark.org.au