Conservation win for Port Macquarie community

NSW Government

The Port Macquarie community is rejoicing after the purchase of 194 hectares of prime bushland to protect core koala habitat.

Koala sleeping in a gum tree on a sunny day

The purchase is funded as a joint initiative between Koala Conservation Australia (KCA), the NSW Government and the Port Macquarie community.

The land, which is adjacent to the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, south-west of Port Macquarie is of great strategic importance to the Port Macquarie community, who have committed to doubling the koala population in the region by 2050.

"Our iconic koalas are increasingly threatened by the loss and fragmentation of habitat… Our plan is to add this purchase to Lake Innes Nature Reserve and declare it an Asset of Intergenerational Significance, which will provide the highest possible protections to this critically important population in perpetuity," said NSW Environment Minister, Matt Kean.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said this is a victory for the many advocates in the local community who have fought so hard for this result.

"The conservation of koalas on this land will be boosted by an ongoing partnership between the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and KCA - a great demonstration of what can be achieved when government works closely with the community."

"It's such welcome news here in the Port Macquarie region that the NSW Government has recognised the significance of this land through our passionate local community campaign," Mrs Williams said.

Port Macquarie is an iconic area for koalas and the local community has strong association with koalas. The Koala (Guula) is a totem animal to the Birpai people and maintaining this population is of great cultural and spiritual importance to contemporary Birpai families.

As well as the koala, it is expected this land will be a safe haven for many other threatened species. Over 44 threatened species have been recorded within a 2km radius of the property, including the eastern coastal free-tailed bat, glossy black cockatoo and grey-headed flying-fox.

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