Port Stephens koala sanctuary opens its doors

A state-of-the-art koala sanctuary in Port Stephens will today open its doors, providing vital protection for the iconic aussie marsupial thanks to $3 million in funding from the NSW Government.

Koala at the Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie. Arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia.

Envrionment Minister Matt Kean joined Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer and members of the community to officially open the new sanctuary.

Mr Kean said there are significant pressures on koalas in NSW from a range of threats, including the ongoing impacts of the devastating 2019-2020 summer bushfires.

"The Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary will not only provide first-class care for sick, injured and orphaned koalas, but will also boost local eco-tourism with a new visitor centre and accommodation allowing visitors to see koalas up close in their natural habitat," Mr Kean said.

"This new centre will help ensure our iconic koalas are protected now and for future generations, and play a key role in my goal of doubling the number of koalas in NSW by 2050."

Key features of the new Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary are the koala hospital providing long-term rehabilitation for koalas with visitors able to see the work that trained wildlife carers undertake with sick and injured koalas.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Catherine Cusack thanked the Berejiklian Government for its $3 million contribution and matched funds from Port Stephens Council that reflects the local community's passion for their important koala colony.

"Today's opening is the culmination of a groundswell of community support and advocacy for koalas and their habitat, and shows how we can all work together for the betterment of the environment," Ms Cusack said.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer says the facility is vital to helping secure the future of one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast of Australia.

"Port Stephens is home to koalas. We're incredibly proud of that and we all have the responsibility to protect koalas and ensure their future for generations to come," Mayor Palmer said.

"Port Stephens Council is working to sustain and grow a healthy and viable koala population in our region – the Koala Sanctuary is one way we can do that."


  • The NSW Government, working in partnership with Port Stephens Council and Port Stephens Koalas, has provided a $3 million commitment to the Sanctuary as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.
  • It will ensure NSW is a centre of excellence in koala care and rehabilitation.
  • The NSW Government has committed $44.7 million to support the implementation of the NSW Koala Strategy.
  • The NSW Koala Strategy is the biggest commitment by any state government to secure the future of koalas in the wild.
  • The NSW Koala Strategy is also supported by the Saving our Species program, which is working to secure the future of NSW threatened plants and animals, including the koala.
  • More information about community koala conservation is available at NSW Koala Country