Campbelltown councillors and the public were last night given an update on the actions being taken to protect the local koala population as part of the Draft Biodiversity Certification Application for Mt Gilead Stage Two.
Last year, Council provided conditional support for the submission of the Draft Biodiversity Certification Application to the NSW Government on the provision that it be amended to align with specialised studies and feedback from relevant Federal and State agencies.
Since then, the proponent commissioned a report to clarify the necessary size of the koala movement corridors, which was peer reviewed by Dr Steve Phillips on the request of Council.
The findings of these reports concluded that for the preservation of koalas and the provision of suitable and viable habitat, the corridor habitat would require a width ranging from 425m to a minimum width of 250m, resulting in an average corridor width of 350m.
Safe crossing points across Appin Road have been recommended at key fauna corridor linkages as well as protection fencing along Appin Road.
In August, the NSW Chief Scientist’s report was released and included a number of recommendations for the protection of the Campbelltown koala population.
Council expects that any proposed amendments to the biodiversity certification for Mt Gilead Stage Two would include koala protection measures such as the recommended corridor widths as well as appropriate fencing and safe fauna crossing points along Appin Rd.
Staff will continue to work with the Chief Scientist, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and the proponent, Lendlease, to enable the implementation of these important protection measures as soon as possible ensuring both the safety of our local koala population, and people travelling along Appin Road.