$200,000 pledged to Tweed Coast koalas
UPDATE 12:10pm: THE founder of the Tweed's Team Koala group, Jenny Hayes, said the National Party's $200,000 commitment to local koalas was "heartwarming".
But she said sadly it probably wouldn't go far.
Ms Hayes said $2 million had been spent in recent years on tree planting alone.
"So that gives you an idea how far $200,000 will go.
"But any amount of money is warmly welcomed.
"It's positive; it's heart warming that they have done that so credit to them."
ORIGINAL STORY: THE Nationals have pledged $200,000 towards koala habitat restoration in the Tweed Shire if they win the seat of Richmond on Saturday.
Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser made the announcement jointly with the Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications and Rural Health Fiona Nash on Monday.
Council is managing the dire plight of the iconic Australian marsupial through its Tweed Coast Koala Plan of Management.
The grant will fund the habitat restoration projects identified in the plan.
Areas most at risk are between the Pottsville wetlands at Black Rocks and around Cabarita and Kings Forest.
"The koala is under a lot of stress. I want my daughter to grow up with koalas as well," Mr Fraser said.
"This should make a big difference.
"Locals are worried about overdevelopment, and the last thing we want is the Tweed Coast turning into the Gold Coast - then where will all the koalas go?
"This funding forms part of the koala management plan that sets an initial target of the creation of 300 hectares of habitat within the first 10 years. No matter what way you look at it, this is a good outcome."
Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications and Rural Health Fiona Nash said: "Matthew Fraser has been telling me about the importance of this project for some time now, and I'm just thrilled we could deliver the funds.
"People want real action on reversing koala decline and this represents a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach by the Council," Ms Nash said.
"As part of the Tweed Byron Koala Connections project, this has proved to be a cost effective model which has already delivered more than 73,000 trees and 55 hectares of new habitat.
"This is a fantastic project and shows what an energetic Nationals member in government can deliver."