STRUCTURES have been put in place at Hastings Secondary College's Westport campus to help protect the region's koala population from road strike deaths on the Oxley Highway.
Koala stiles to enable the animal to safely make their way into the safety of the school grounds have been installed by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in partnership with the school and Koala Preservation Society.
The koala stiles are located on the corner of Findlay Avenue and the Oxley Highway.
There have been 128 koala strikes across the local government area in the last five years, mayor Peta Pinson said in launching the project which is a part of council's Koala Plan of Management.
"Our community loves koalas. We are know for koalas on the mid north coast," Cr Pinson said.
"The sad thing is we've had 128 road strikes in this area and we need to address what is happening here."
A stile is a climbing frame to assist koalas to safely get across a fenced area and back to their feeding trees.
"We have partnered with Hastings Secondary College and the Koala Preservation Society to build five new stiles at one of our LGA's top 'black spots' for koala vehicle strike
"It requires hard work and collaboration between all levels of government and passionate community groups to protect our beloved national icon.
"We need to ensure these little guys continue to be a part of our identity for many years to come."
Westport campus deputy principal Greg Ferrett said the school was proud to be a part of a program to provide refuge for koalas.
"We're really excited to be a part of this. It's a beautiful environment where the school is and we are fortunate to get a lot of koalas here in the school," he said.
"With that, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect them."
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