Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary head vet Michael Payne, Team Koala president Jenny Hayes, Tweed MP Geoff Provest, NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton and Mayor Katie Milne announce a new 100ha koala habitat reserve at Koala Beach.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary head vet Michael Payne, Team Koala president Jenny Hayes, Tweed MP Geoff Provest, NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton and Mayor Katie Milne announce a new 100ha koala habitat reserve at Koala Beach. Aisling Brennan

New 100ha koala reserve for Tweed Coast

THE Tweed Coast's endangered koala population has been given a chance to thrive with the announcement of a 100ha nature reserve to be established at Pottsville.

New South Wales Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced on Friday the $1 million purchase of a 100ha vacant block, located between council land and Cudgen Nature Reserve at the northern end of the Koala Beach estate.

Ms Upton said the new nature reserve would provide more land for the koala to thrive while providing a chance to further study koalas to help ensure their survival.

"One of the most important things we can do is create a habitat where they have the environment where they can do what they need to do to stabilise their own population and then to thrive,” she said.

"There are so many unknowns about koalas, it's got to be a compliment of really practical measures like finding them a home so you can study them, you can map them.

"There's so much that can be done once you stabilise the population, in terms of observing their behaviours and working on the research.”

Council's senior biodiversity program leader Scott Hetherington said the massive block of land would mean great things for not only koalas but other native animals.

"This is a really significant opportunity because it's once in a lifetime,” Mr Hetherington said.

"Land on the Coast is so scarce and the opportunity to add 100ha to the protected areas generally will only happen once in a lifetime of our body of work.

"There's no point just planting trees, there's no point just killing wild dogs, you've got to do it all and a block of land like this helps us do that.”

Mayor Katie Milne said the community would be pleased with the outcome.

"We've been working so hard to make sure we don't lose our koalas,” she said. We've had a lot of developmental pressure that's really put pressure on koalas so it's important we don't lose any more land.”

Mr Provest said Stage One of the koala sanctuary would include the planting of koala food trees and koala pens to be used by researchers at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.



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