Macquarie Liberal candidate to pursue Koala funding for the Blue Mountains & The Hawkesbury

Image: Liberal Candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards at Winmalee where 50 eucalyptus trees have been planted.
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Federal Liberal Candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards said today that she will fight to ensure that the Blue Mountains region receives its share of $50 million of new funding to support the recovery of koalas in Eastern Australia.

“Protecting these precious koalas is an absolute priority for the people of Macquarie and the Greater Blue Mountains,” said Sarah Richards. “And my view is that we canʼt do enough to ensure the long-term recovery and health of our beloved koala populations.”

Environment Minister Sussan Ley has announced a $50 million package, that focusses on improving the health of koalas, extends long-term monitoring of the animals and restores and preserves their critical habitats.

“Iʼll be talking with our Environment Minister Sussan Ley to advocate for our slice of the $30 million that will be dedicated for community-led initiatives and large-scale activities,” Richards said.

“We have terrific organisations like Science for Wildlife that would benefit from these funds,” she said.

Ms. Richards said the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area contained endangered koala populations.

“This package from the Morrison Government is a wonderful opportunity to secure even more money for Blue Mountains based-projects that help preserve our precious koalas,” Ms Richards said. “People here care about the welfare of our koala population. Itʼs why we saw so many citizen scientists volunteer to restore habitats and monitor koala numbers following the bushfires.”

Richards said that last year the ʻWildlife Near Me,ʼ a project that helps locals volunteer for conservation projects, received federal government funding for its important work.

“It takes hard work from our tireless vets, scientists and nurses to take care of our koalas and Iʼll be backing them in by advocating for more local funds.”

Across the country, more than 3,200 vets and veterinary nurses have already received specialist bushfire trauma training which is helping to increase survival prospects for koalas and other native species.

This announcement brings the Morrison Governmentʼs commitment to koala conservation to nearly $75 million since 2019.

The additional $50 million investment over the next four years includes:

  • $20 million for habitat to restore Koala habitat and manage threats, including large and medium scale projects.
  • $10 million for community-led initiatives 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 help fill critical knowledge gaps. Improve the capacity of citizen scientists, and track Koala populations.
  • $2 million to improve Koala health outcomes, and practical application of research outcomes to address the Koala health challenges.
  • $1 million for up to 1,000 training places for experts to learn more about koala care treatment and triage.
  • $7 million to support national coordination and collaboration to deliver conservation initiatives.

Letʼs get behind such well thought out initiatives.

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