NSW Government boosts koala funding to bring them back from the brink
The Minns Labor government has committed to saving koalas in NSW, ensuring future generations can continue to see them in the wild, with $172 million in new funding in the 2023–2024 NSW Budget.
To bring the iconic koala back from the brink, the NSW Government is intensifying efforts to protect them with an $80 million downpayment for the Great Koala National Park.
The budget also includes $88 million over 4 years to protect crucial koala habitat in south and south-western Sydney by creating the Georges River Koala National Park, building infrastructure to allow koalas to safely cross busy roads, creating a wildlife corridor in Woronora and funding the Koala Care Centre in Macarthur. $3.5 million has been reserved for local koala care organisations.
The budget includes another $272 million in new funding for the Environment and Heritage Portfolio, taking the total to $444 million.
Visitor infrastructure in NSW National Parks will be renewed and upgraded under a $74 million allocation over 4 years. This will see new and improved walking paths, camping grounds, lookouts, picnic facilities and amenities, to ensure our parks continue to provide unforgettable experiences, from camping trips in the bush to coastal getaways and alpine adventures.
This is on top of $22 million over 4 years to increase the number of National Parks field officers and $13 million to complete the Wolli Creek Regional Park.
The NSW Government is providing $61 million over 4 years to help private landholders protect our most at-risk landscapes and threatened species. This funding will see the government step in to save 85 staff who perform crucial biodiversity roles.
The budget also includes an essential boost to World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island to improve its waste management system, funding for the NSW Heritage Strategy, and $800,000 for citizen science projects to enable community groups to monitor the health of local waterways.