PSK volunteers in the Habitat group have continued efforts to preserve koala habitat by writing submissions, seemingly without any success. Our efforts are raising the profile of PSK to become known as a protector of habitat, not just a rescuer of koalas, through all these submissions.
We feel, like many others, that the Black Summer of 2019-2020 saw such extensive destruction of koala habitat that it is likely that thousands of koalas met their death in the infernos. In some areas it is considered that 80% were destroyed.
On 30 June 2020 the NSW Legislative Council was presented with a report on Koala populations and Habitat in NSW, from the Portfolio Committee Chaired by Cate Faehrmann, MLC. The report took a year to compile and includes submissions from many organisations, including ours. The report makes 42 recommendations, recognising that the koala is in dire straits and that their extinction in the wild is highly likely by 2050 unless all levels of government, and all departments, coordinate an approach to conserve their habitat.
We have already met with Port Stephens Council staff to discuss the report and how to revitalise the Port Stephens Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPOM) intention to preserve habitat and restore connections between disrupted corridors that are essential for koalas to find breeding partners and for young to disperse. We will continue to work on this front, no matter how dis-heartening the results of our endeavours to date. PSK supported Cate Faehrmann’s visit to the area as reported in the Examiner on 20 August.