2021-22 State Budget Announcement
The NSW Government announced, in the latest State Budget, a $193.3 million commitment towards doubling the number of koalas in New South Wales by 2050. This funding will support a new conservation program and is a significant investment in koala conservation, building on the achievements and groundwork of the NSW Koala Strategy 2018–21.
Through this new program, conservation actions to increase koala numbers will be delivered under four pillars of conservation: conserving koala habitat, supporting local communities to conserve koalas, improving the safety and health of koalas, and building our knowledge to improve koala conservation. This announcement is the biggest financial commitment by any Australian government to secure koalas in the wild.
Koalas in New South Wales, like many other species, are facing a wide range of threats, including land use change, disease and extreme weather events. It is our responsibility to help safeguard koalas against these threats.
The NSW Koala Strategy is part of a long-term vision to first stabilise, then increase, koala population numbers across the State. Through many of its actions, the strategy will also contribute to protecting other threatened species.
The NSW Government has committed $44.7 million to support the implementation of the NSW Koala Strategy.
What is the NSW Koala Strategy?
The NSW Koala Strategy supports on-ground initiatives delivered by wildlife rehabilitators, community groups, local councils and government agencies who are already working to protect koalas in the wild.
It also creates opportunities for the broader community to get involved in koala conservation, whether you want to protect koala habitat on your land or report a koala sighting – we all have a role in saving the koala.
The NSW Koala Strategy will help protect important koala habitat and build up the resilience of koala populations to ensure the future of koalas in New South Wales.
The Saving our Species (SoS) program also forms an important part of the NSW Koala Strategy. The Saving our Species Iconic Koala Project provides a framework for on-ground conservation of koalas in New South Wales, supporting action by land managers, communities and experts to address key threats. The Saving our Species Iconic Koala Project is contributing $4 million to the NSW Koala Strategy.
24 actions under 4 pillars
The strategy identifies a set of 24 actions to be delivered over 3 years and involves working with the whole community. After 3 years we will evaluate the outcomes of the strategy and adapt our approach, making sure we are delivering the best actions to protect koala populations.
- koala habitat conservation
- conservation through community action
- safety and health of koala populations
- building our knowledge
A whole-of-government strategy
The strategy responds to the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer's 2016 Independent Review into the Decline of Koala Populations in Key Areas of NSW. An expert advisory committee chaired by the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer guided the strategy's development along with extensive community and stakeholder consultation.
The report makes 11 recommendations to benefit koala populations in New South Wales. The main recommendation is for the NSW Government to adopt a whole-of-government koala strategy for New South Wales based on the principles of action, ongoing monitoring and continuous learning. A detailed list of the recommendations is available in the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer's report.