Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is seeking feedback and asking the community to have its say on key koala strategy and planning documents that aim to protect local koalas.
The draft Koala Recovery Strategy aims to protect and reverse the current declining population of local koalas. The draft Coastal Koala Plan of Management includes recommended changes to local planning guidelines aimed at limiting habitat loss resulting from ongoing development.
Council group manager Maria Doherty said both documents will provide high level direction on the way council manages the preservation of our much-loved local koalas, in balance with the unprecedented growth occurring across the region.
“Council has sought to avoid impacts on our local wildlife, including our local koala populations, in planning for urban growth. Inevitably, as we build more homes, roads and infrastructure to cater for population growth, there is some impact on the local environment and our aim is to minimise this impact,” Ms Doherty said.
“By 2039, our region’s population is expected to grow to more than 108,000 people, and while this growth delivers positive economic benefits for our community, it has the potential to have a significant environmental effect on our local koala population if not managed responsibly.”
The draft Koala Recovery Strategy focuses on the long-term sustainable management of koalas across the region and includes key actions such as the installation of fencing near roads to reduce koala road strikes and education programs for dog owners who live in identified koala habitat zones.
The draft Coastal Koala Plan of Management proposes a new set of planning guidelines related to the development assessment process, and aims to ensure koala habitat is considered as part of any new construction development which will significantly help to prevent local koala population decline.
“We are so fortunate to live in a region that supports a nationally significant population of this iconic species. We need to act now so that our local koalas don’t disappear, or else we risk losing them forever,” Ms Doherty said.
“We really want to hear what our entire community has to say about our koalas so tell us what you think by attending one of our drop-in sessions or fill out a quick survey on our website to have your say.”
Koala Strategy drop-in sessions will occur on Tuesday, April 24 at:
- Port Macquarie Library 9.30am – 10.30am
- Wauchope Library 11.30am – 12.30pm
- Laurieton Library 1.30pm – 2.30pm
The draft Koala Recovery Strategy and draft Coastal Koala Plan of Management are on exhibition until Friday, May 11.