Last shire to make a protection plan for koalas
HOW many koalas are there in Kyogle Shire?
Mapping the koala population is only one aspect of the Koala Management Plan proposed at a recent Kyogle Council meeting.
Councillor Maggie May put forward the motion and most councillors supported the need for a management plan.
The same motion was defeated in 2012 when proposed by Councillor Janet Wilson.
Cr May said if action wasn't taken, the koala could be extinct by 2040.
"Helping koalas helps everything," she said.
"By protecting their habitat, we are protecting other species."
It's the right time, she said.
Kyogle Shire is one of the last shires in the Northern Rivers to have a management plan for koalas.
"Kyogle is integral," Cr May said.
"Koalas don't live in rainforests. They live in sclerophyll trees and we have these".
Council resolved to lobby the state government to increase its funding to protect koala populations, focusing in particular on the degradation of native forests and crown lands caused by invasive weeds and bell minor associated die back.
Mayor Danielle Mulholland described Council's multi-pronged strategy to protect koalas as a "proactive" response to a complex issue.
"Koalas are already on the vulnerable species list and early intervention could prevent the species from becoming endangered or critically endangered like 117 other species in NSW," Cr Mulholland said.
"We will, of course, engage community members in the development and implementation of these policies and strategies.
"More than a third of our LGA is state forests or national parks and those agencies need to take responsibility for their part in this process."
Cr May said there was a "huge amount of state government funding available" and plenty of support from the Friends of Koalas group in Lismore.
The next step towards a Koala Management Plan was for council staff to consult experts, the Office of Environment and Heritage and the community
To find out more go to environment.nsw.gov.au/ news/koala-country.