Habitat help for Tweed Coast koalas
VITAL planting of koala habitat on the Tweed Coast will continue following a much-needed funding boost from the NSW Government as part of an initiative to help protect endangered species.
Environment Minister Mark Speakman visited the Tweed last Monday, touring several locations including the Pottsville wetlands, where he announced $99,000 in funding for the Tweed Shire Council, to help connect crucial koala habitat on the Tweed Coast.
“These grants acknowledge and support these on-ground works and together these projects form a network of environmental initiatives, making a difference,” Mr Speakman said.
He said the State Government would invest a record $100 million into the Saving Our Species program, designed to protect all endangered species in NSW.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the funding would help to connect crucial coastal habitat with the Border Ranges to better protect koalas into the future.
Team Koala president Jenny Hayes said the funding could spell fresh hope for the Tweed Coast’s dwindling populations.
She said Team Koala had recently received $1000 funding from the council and had been working with local schools to educate children to urge their parents to slow down on roads which run through koala habitats.
“I think any money is good,” Ms Hayes said.
“It’s going to hopefully allow us to continue planting every month.”
Ms Hayes said while campaigning for koalas was important, the biggest chance of saving the endangered populations now was to plant more trees to connect isolated cells of habitat on the coast.
“Koalas don’t just sit in the trees, they need to move around,” she said.
“It’s all about having connectedness. Having that connectivity to they can move from tree to tree.
“The best thing we can do for our koalas right now is plant trees.”
“There’s no use jumping up and down with placards, that’s fine but we need to be out there and we need to educate the children for their parents to slow down on roads like Clothiers Creek Rd.
“We don’t have any time for not doing anything. We’re on the brink of losing our koalas forever and that, to me, is just tragic.”
A recent study estimated there to be just 100 koalas remaining in the wild on the Tweed Coast.
The funding is part of the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation program.