What does it mean to be an icon in NSW? Not much apparently. Unless the Baird government has a complete rethink of its environment policy the iconic koala faces a bleak future says the National Parks Association of NSW.
Koalas are one of just six of the 1000-odd threatened species put on an ‘iconic’ pedestal in the NSW government’s Saving our Species (SOS) programme. According to the government, “iconic species are important socially, culturally and economically, and the community expects them to be effectively managed and protected”1.
Highly regarded conservation zoo, Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast of NSW, is joining forces with National Parks Association of NSW to raise awareness and funds for the establishment of The Great Koala National Park.
This conservation initiative is strategically planned to protect what is arguably Australia’s national icon, the koala, as numbers continue to plummet in NSW state forests and protected land. The Great Koala National Park is proposed to be established by combining 175,000 ha of state forest with 140,000 ha of existing protected land in the Coffs Harbour region to form a 315,000 ha refuge for almost 20 percent of the state’s remaining wild koalas.