KOALA KOALITION: Lorraine Vass, Linda Sparrow from Bangalow Koalas, Labor Candidate for Ballina Asren Pugh, Labor Candidate for Lismore Janelle Saffin, NSW Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe, Ros Irwin and Maria Matthes.
KOALA KOALITION: Lorraine Vass, Linda Sparrow from Bangalow Koalas, Labor Candidate for Ballina Asren Pugh, Labor Candidate for Lismore Janelle Saffin, NSW Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe, Ros Irwin and Maria Matthes. Contributed

Koala ko-ordinator fund

IT'S BEEN a good week for Koalas with a future state State Labor government committing $500,000 for a koala co-ordinator and action plan and a controversial Bangalow DA withdrawn.

Labor announced that a Daley Labor Government will provide the money over three years for the development and implementation of Koala Community Action Plans for the Lismore, Ballina and Byron shires, in partnership with Friends of the Koala.

The funding will be used to employ a Koala Coordinator to develop and implement the plans, and support tree planting, weed and pest control, and scientific research.

Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe made the announcement on-site at the Friends of the Koala care centre with Labor candidates Asren Pugh for Ballina and Janelle Saffin for Lismore.

"The koala populations on the NSW North Coast are some of the largest in the state, and Labor wants to make sure they are recognised, planned for, and protected,” Ms Sharpe said.

Mr Pugh said: "I have been involved in community efforts to protect koalas and their habitat for many years, but now those efforts will be so much more effective with boosted resources and a dedicated Koala Coordinator.

"It is crunch time for koalas in NSW - I want my children and future generations to be able to see koalas in the wild, but to do so we have to act now.”

Meanwhile in Bangalow a $10 million development application for a major tourism hub and koala hospital has been withdrawn due the high number of submissions against it.

The development, which was opposed by Asren Pugh, for land at 18 Pioneers Crescent, Bangalow, was for three bars, a brewery, cafe, retail outlets, performance venue and would also include a koala hospital, koala tree plantation and 12 accommodation pods.


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