MidCoast Council is seeking community feedback on a strategy to guide the conservation, recovery and long-term management of koala populations in the region, with three community sessions to be held next week.
Once the draft strategy is developed it will be placed on public exhibition for community feedback.
Members of the community who want to share their views and local knowledge or ask questions about the project are invited to drop in at one of the following community sessions:
- Tuesday December 5, Tinonee Memorial School of Arts Hall, 10am-6pm;
- Wednesday December 6, Bulahdelah School of Arts Hall, 10am-6pm, and
- Thursday December 7 - MidCoast Council' Gloucester customer service point, 10am-6pm.
To book an appointment for a specific time, email email@example.com.
The strategy will help guide the koala conservation program, Koala Safe Spaces, which is funded by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
While the Koala Safe Spaces Program has to date focussed on gathering data and developing community awareness about koala conservation, the development of the MidCoast Koala Strategy marks a move towards documenting co-ordinated management actions for koala recovery and conservation on public and private land.
MidCoast Council natural systems manager, Gerard Tuckerman said the strategy would target and prioritise the conservation and land management efforts of government, organisations and community members.
"It is a critical step in reversing the decline and securing the long term viability of our local koala populations," Mr Tuckerman said.
Collaboration with private landholders across our catchments to manage and link up habitats is the best thing we can do for our local koalas.- MidCoast Council natural systems manager, Gerard Tuckerman
"Collaboration with private landholders across our catchments to manage and link up habitats is the best thing we can do for our local koalas," he said.
"The strategy will be informed by koala sightings data, habitat mapping, applied scientific knowledge and the ideas and perspectives of stakeholders and the community."
Feedback also could be provided online at haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/koala-strategy until February 11, 2024.
In addition, council is encouraging the community to continue reporting koala sightings on public and private land at midcoast.nsw.gov.au/koalasafespaces.
Participation in management and conservation actions identified on private land within the MidCoast Koala Strategy will be entirely voluntary.
"There is already considerable interest from landholders in koala conservation in the Mid-Coast area," Mr Tuckerman said.
"Numerous landholders, organisations and community groups have been undertaking restoration and conservation activities over a number of years.
"This interest has increased since the 2019 bushfires, the uplifting of the threatened status of koalas to endangered, and the release of the NSW Koala Strategy."
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