Koala Woman Says
Given this region is so important from a tourism point of view because of the great wine it produces, it is outrageous that our Tourism Ministers do not understand they are losing the Koala in the wild. Sadly, our Tourism Ministers think that tourists only want to see them in a zoo. How wrong they are! The Hunter has some of the most endangered ecosystems in NSW, and guess what? It’s prime Koala real estate. The Hunter electorate doesn’t have many Koalas left. Some are near Branxton, where there has been a 7,500 lot subdivision approved under the EPBC Act. It is mostly woodland and good Koala habitat, yet Koalas weren’t considered in the EPBC Act Referral. Yet another reason we need a national Koala Protection Act.
Most sightings have been in the Cessnock, Watagan Mountains and Wollombi Valley areas but there have only been 12 reported sightings in the last five years. Most of the former Charlton electorate is now in Hunter, in this area there have been 12 records since 2000, mostly between Awaba and Killingworth. They are right next to the Pacific Motorway, and we don’t know how many were road kills. There is a fair bit of habitat here, but it’s fragmented by coal mines, railways and powerline easements as well as the Motorway. Not good long-term prospects for these Koalas.
Member for Hunter
Will he Act or Axe?
Estimated AKF Koala Population: 210-350
Estimated Koala Habitat left: 59.5%
Estimated Federal Government Population: No data. No opinion.
Listed as vulnerable to extinction under the EPBC Act (May 2012)