First property purchased under scheme to protect NSW koalas

The NSW Government has successfully negotiated the first property to be purchased under its $10 million koala land acquisition program, Member for Goulburn Pru Goward along with the Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton announced today.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

"It's wonderful to have NSW's first koala habitat reserve established here in the Southern Highlands.

"This is a lush and green environment that will help keep our much loved and treasured koala safe and thriving.

"I know the communities of this region will welcome the announcement and do whatever they can to support the park into the future.

"This could not have happened in a better place for the koala," Ms Goward said.

The 402-hectare property, located on the Wollondilly River, south-west of Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands, forms part of the southern highlands habitat link that joins the Blue Mountains to wilderness areas of Morton National Park.

"The link contains habitat for more than 1000 koalas and allows for recolonisation and natural movement of koalas. It also promotes genetic diversity for the maintenance of the southern highlands' koala population," Ms Goward said.

The conservation values of the property were identified through the Saving our Species Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project. It contains tree species that are the most favoured koala food sources in NSW.

"By purchasing this land for the national park system we are expanding koala habitat," Ms Upton said.

Last year the NSW Government announced $10 million from the NSW Environmental Trust will go towards purchasing and permanently conserving land containing high priority koala habitat over the next five years.

The land will be managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service as a nature reserve.