The MidCoast’s koala population is still recuperating from the devastating bushfires of 2019/20 but a Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grant from the Federal Government is a huge boost for their recovery process.
A range of local groups and agencies have been working together to help the local koalas, including MidCoast Council, Koalas in Care, MidCoast2Tops Landcare, Taree Indigenous Development and Employment (TIDE), and Tinonee Public School. The $130,000 funding will further support the work they have been doing and allow them to implement programs in the future, with each partner committing additional funds and resources to the project including Council through the Environmental Rate.
The fires burnt 209,549 hectares (20.5%) of the MidCoast Council area, which had a devastating impact on local koalas. This project will establish koala refuges, assist landholders to strengthen their own koala populations, and understand and help facilitate safe koala movement by identifying important corridors and community road safety programs.
Together these actions will help rebuild and strengthen local communities and koala populations.
The funds will be distributed across five focus areas, including the implementation of a koala and community road safety program at Tinonee, working with TIDE to plant koala food trees at Cattai Wetlands, koala connectivity modelling and evaluating revegetation scenarios in the Kiwarrak Area of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS), strengthening koala refuges and corridors, and assisting bushfire affected landowners to re-establish vegetation on their properties.
“This funding will make a huge difference in our local koala population’s recovery from the bushfires of 2019/20 and the collaboration with such a great range of agencies and group means we are really covering a broad range of objectives,” explained Gerard Tuckerman, MidCoast Council’s Manager of Natural Systems.
“From road safety initiatives through to revegetation, strengthening koala refuges and corridors and weed and pest animal control, we’re doing everything we can to assist our koalas in their recovery.”
The project has already commenced and will run until March 2022.