Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

0967 - Environment - KOALA CONSERVATION

0967 - KOALA CONSERVATION

Sharpe, Penny to the Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Multiculturalism representing the Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, and Assistant Minister for Planning
  1. How much money has been spent on koala conservation since the 2008 Koala Recovery Plan expired in 2013?
  2. What has guided Government investment in koala conservation since the 2008 Koala Recovery Plan expired?
  3. Why did the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) choose not to conduct a formal review of the 2008 Koala Recovery Plan?
  4. How does OEH measure success in implementing the objectives of SEPP 44 and the National Koala Conservation Strategy?
  5. Has OEH undertaken an updated assessment of koala distribution and population status since the 2010 estimates that informed the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) nomination?
    1. If so, where are the statistics?
    2. Was this done for selected populations as well as across New South Wales?
      1. If so, where are the results?
  6. Has OEH developed a standard methodology for koala survey and analytic techniques? What evidence was this methodology based on?
  7. Has OEH identified priority koala populations for management? If so, what data is this prioritisation based on?
  8. Has OEH ranked threats to koalas to prioritise recovery efforts and evaluated how best to ameliorate them and the effectiveness of mitigation measures?
  9. What proportion of local government areas (LGAs) listed on Schedule 1 of SEPP 44 now have an approved Koala Plan of Management
  10. What amendments have been made to SEPP 44 in the 21 years that it has been in existence?
  11. Has OEH assessed the economic and non-biological values of koalas? If so, what are the results?

  12. How does the recording system for groups involved in koala care operate?

  13. What are the trends of koalas coming into care, including absolute numbers and the reason for injury?

Answer -

I am advised as follows:

  1. The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has spent approximately $1.5 million from 1 July 2013 on koala conservation. This includes funding from the Australian Government Biodiversity Fund and the Environmental Trust, including a grant to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Nearly $900,000 has been allocated in 2015 16.
    The NSW Government has also provided $2.5 million to facilitate the addition of 12,000 hectares to the NSW forest reserve system to protect the last known far south coast koala population.
  2. The koala is funded as an iconic species in the Saving our Species program. The recovery plan guides investment in koala conservation, including mapping and collaboration with councils to develop plans of management for koalas.
    Investment by the Environmental Trust is in accordance with the trusts funding guidelines.
    The EPA invested in koala mapping programs to provide a clear understanding of koala identification and management needs in native forestry areas on both public and private land.
  3. OEH has revised and publicly exhibited its approach to recovery plans and threatened species conservation through the Saving our Species program, which includes the koala as an iconic species.
  4. SEPP 44 is a matter for the Minister for Planning.
    The National Koala Conservation Strategy is a matter for the Commonwealth Government.
  5. This information is contained in a published paper to which OEH contributed, available at http:⁄⁄onlinelibrary.wiley.com⁄doi⁄10.1111⁄ddi.124 00⁄full.
  6. Survey methods for koalas vary depending on the nature of the area or population being surveyed and the purpose of the data being collected.
  7. Through the Saving our Species program, OEH is identifying important koala populations for management based on expert opinion, survey results, Wildlife Atlas records and data from councils, among other sources.
  8. Through the Saving our Species program, OEH is identifying important koala populations for management based on expert opinion, survey results, Wildlife Atlas records and data from councils, among other sources. This is supported by threat analysis.
  9. This is a matter for the Minister for Planning.
  10. This is a matter for the Minister for Planning.
  11. The Saving our Species program assesses species based on ecology, habitat and distribution, threats and what is known about the species. Koalas are managed as iconic species as they are highly valued by the community for their ecological value and for their social, cultural and economic value.
  12. All groups and licensed individual fauna rehabilitators in NSW are required to comply with the reporting requirements of their licence. This includes minimum standards for injured, sick and orphaned protected fauna that require each group to maintain a system that records information including.
  • encounter details
  • species data
  • care providers
  • fate details.

Copies of records must be submitted to OEH in September each year.

13. Between 2011 and 2013 approximately 1896 koalas were reported by fauna rehabilitation groups as needing rescue and assessment. The most frequently reported encounters over this period were disease related problems (18.2 per cent), koalas located in an unsuitable environments such as backyards (17 per cent), or collision related (17 per cent).

Question asked on 11 May 2016 (session 56-1) and published in Questions & Answers Paper No. 58
Answer received on 15 June 2016 and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 63