The Morrison Government has announced a record $50 million package for Koalas that will improve the health outcomes of the species, extend long-term monitoring and restore and preserve critical habitat.
“This new package will take Government spending on koalas to more than $74 million since 2019, bringing together land managers, researchers, veterinarians and citizen scientists to address a full range of support strategies,” Minister Ley said.
“The extra funding will build on work already happening across the koalas’ range to restore and connect important habitat patches, control feral animals and weeds and improve habitat.”
The additional $50 million investment over the next four years includes:
- $20 million for habitat protection projects – grants for large-scale activities run by Natural Resource Management and non-government organisations, industry, and Indigenous groups, as well as state and territory governments.
- $10 million for community-led initiatives – grants for local habitat protection and restoration activities, health and care facilities, and citizen science projects
- $10 million to extend the National Koala Monitoring Program – to identify trends over time, increase the number of sites sampled, and support the participation of citizen scientists
- $2 million to improve Koala health outcomes – grants for applied research activities and practical application to address health challenges such as retrovirus, herpesviruses, and chlamydia
- $1 million for Koala care, treatment and triage – expanding and continuing national training for veterinarians and volunteers to care for and treat koalas.
Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton said the $50 million package will also provide significant flow-on benefits for other native species.
“These new measures will help ensure the long-term recovery and resilience of our beloved Koala populations through monitoring, training in treatment and care, and on-ground action to protect critical habitat,” Mr Hamilton said.
“We are working with communities and landholders on habitat restoration projects that target thousands of hectares in significant koala areas in Eastern Australia.
“We are also investing in programs to train vets and vet nurses to treat koalas after extreme weather events and we are funding research to determine the genetic strength of populations and how unique DNA variants can provide resistance to diseases such as chlamydia.”