Humane Society International (HSI) Australia welcomes the announcement from the NSW Government that koala conservation in Western Sydney will receive $100M in funding, through the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan was approved by the previous NSW Government to streamline development approvals in Western Sydney, but provided insufficient protection for threatened and the region’s wildlife, including koalas and other threatened species. The koala conservation funding and other changes announced today are a good first step to increasing protections for wildlife under the Plan.

Dr Megan Kessler, Nature Campaigner at HSI Australia said: “These protections need to be put in place as quickly as possible to ensure they have the best chance at protecting threatened species like our koalas.

“While the funding and greater upfront protection is very welcome, the NSW Government needs to do more to protect the 500 hectares of critically endangered woodland that will still be destroyed under the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.

“We look forward to working with the Government to enhance these protections into the future, to save Sydney’s precious wildlife and its dwindling habitat.”

In 1997, Cumberland Plain Woodland was the first ever threatened ecological community protected under law in Australia following a nomination from HSI Australia. Today less than 6% remains and Cumberland Plain Shale Woodlands and the Shale-Gravel Transition Forest had to be uplisted to Critically Endangered in 2009.

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