Campbelltown MP Greg Warren says the recently released koala strategy showed the NSW Government was ignoring the urgent need to protect Campbelltown’s koala population ahead of significant housing development.
He said the strategy failed to provide any protection for Campbelltown’s koala population.
The 21 page strategy replaces the previous 124 page koala recovery plan that lapsed more than five years ago, and lacks details of any specific plans to protect Campbelltown’s koala colony, the only disease free koala colony remaining in NSW.
The strategy identified fixing “priority road-kill hotspots” as a key objective, and yet included no concrete plans to protect koalas along Appin Road, where at it is estimated up to 10 koalas have been killed by vehicles in the past few weeks.
Similarly, the strategy also identified “research to significantly reduce [the] incidence of chlamydia” among koalas as a priority, and yet no protection measures were included to protect Campbelltown’s koala population, which is already chlamydia free.
“For the NSW Government to launch a koala strategy that fails to recognise the significance of Campbelltown’s disease free koala colony is absolutely appalling,’’ Mr Warren said.
“We’ve had at least eight koalas killed along Appin Road in the last two months, and unless the government acknowledges the problem and takes urgent action to protect our koalas, our local koala colony will continue to be decimated.
“Wildlife activists, council and our community are all on the same page about the urgent need for overpasses/underpasses and exclusion fencing along Appin Road – when will the NSW Government get the memo,” the local MP said.
Mr Warren has long advocated for appropriate wildlife protection measures to be installed along Appin Road, including wildlife overpasses and underpasses and accompanying exclusion fencing.
Despite consistent calls from Mr Warren, Campbelltown City Council and local environmental activists, the NSW Liberal Government has failed to act to prevent koala deaths other than to promise to look into the feasibility of providing wildlife protection measures.
Mr Warren said that the full upgrade of Appin Road into a dual carriageway should be fast-tracked, and that part of that upgrade should include the necessary protections for koalas and other native wildlife.
“Our community is sick of the Government’s inaction when it comes to Appin Road.
“We have seen too many koalas killed on Appin Road in recent times, and it seems no matter how many times our community tells the government they need to act, they simply won’t listen.
“What we desperately need is the full-scale upgrade of Appin Road into a dual carriageway, and as part of that upgrade the delivery of wildlife overpasses and underpasses and exclusion fencing.
“The band aid approach taken by both state and federal governments to date is simply not good enough, which is why I’m demanding action be taken as a priority.”