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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Koala care funding climbs in NSW

The NSW Government has pledged $3.5 million in funding for three regional wildlife care facilities.

Koalas in the state’s north are set to have a more secure future with $1.4 million allocated to complete construction of the Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital in Wollongbar; while friends of the Koala, based in Lismore, will receive a $110,000 grant to vaccinate 300 koalas against chlamydia, and develop a koala database.

This funding builds on previous NSW Government commitments to protect koalas in the northern rivers from vehicle strike and degraded habitats.

Grants totalling $460,000 were awarded to Richmond Valley, Ballina, Lismore, Tweed and Clarence Valley councils for signage to alert drivers to slow down and watch for koalas in vehicle strike hotspots.

Koala habitat restoration is also underway in the Northern Rivers region, with $810,000 invested to restore 660 hectares across private land and national park estate.

“There are many reasons why a koala may be taken into care, including vehicle strike and disease,” said Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Penny Sharpe.

“The NSW Government is taking steps to prevent koalas needing to be in veterinary care, and this funding helps to ensure that native wildlife have the best possible outcome when treated and returned to the wild.

“It is important that koalas have a bright future in NSW.”

In addition to grants for Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital and Friends of the Koala, the NSW Labor Government is providing a $2 million grant to Port Stephens Koala Hospital to increase wildlife veterinary capacity.

“The Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital is wonderful. We have already turned the first sod but this $1.4 million in funding ensures its place within our network of native wildlife care,” said Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin.

“Our local communities love our iconic koalas and the $110,000 in funding will help protect them against chlamydia, and importantly, keep track of them.

“Friends of the Koala in East Lismore is a fantastic organisation, professional, with compassionate and competent volunteers.

“I am proud to have advocated for and secured funding for these projects and very pleased to join Minister Sharpe to announce them here in the electorate.”

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