Koalas are on an extinction trajectory. Is it due to a lack of public concern? A lack of political will?
After the catastrophic fires of 2019/20 summer the Koala has become the poster child for governments claiming environmental credentials, for companies as mascots and for environmental activists.
Sydney has one last koala population, on the South West city fringe between the Nepean and Georges Rivers. Unlike many koala populations, it is chlamydia free and may have a natural resistance to the disease. With this genetic advantage, it could help the wider koala population, so its survival is vital.
The Campbeltown koala population has been growing and looking to expand, but a key koala corridor lies in the path of a multi-million dollar housing development. Lend Lease has approval for Stage One of the Figtree Hill project at Mt Gilead (1700 houses). The company faces mounting criticism for its approach to environmental protection.
The only obstacle between the corporation and its goal is a small band of activists who alert the public to the impact of the land-clearing.
We look at the survey work being done by ecological consultants and the conditions of D.A. approval – does the corporation have a real concern to protect vulnerable ecological communities impacted by the development? We ask is the project sustainable or are NSW environment laws so weak that they can't aid the preservation of an iconic endangered species?
'The Koala Corridor' asks whether the current scale of development is compatible with the fight to Sydney’s last Koala colony, and the NSW Koala population. Wildlife carers rehabilitate injured koalas and researchers tag, release and track them in the wild. We look at biodiversity and environment protection regulations and ask if there are adequate safeguards for such endangered species. Meanwhile Boris and Reuben, koalas found on Appin Rd and released back into the bush, make their way across the urban fringe full of hazards; cars and dogs.