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 the summer of 2019/20 the koala has become the poster child for governments claiming environmental credentials, for companies as mascots and for environmental activists concerned about habitat loss.
Sydney has one last healthy koala population, on the South West city fringe between the Nepean and Georges Rivers. Unlike many koala populations, it is it is growing and it is largely chlamydia free. With this advantage, it could help the wider koala population of NSW, so its survival is vital.
The Campbelltown koala population has been growing and looking to expand, but a key koala corridor lies in the path of a massive urban housing development. A major developer has approval for the first stage of the Figtree Hill project at Mt Gilead (1700 houses). Does the developer have a real concern to protect vulnerable ecological communities impacted by its development? We see the survey work being undertaken by ecological consultants on the site and hear about the efforts made to meet current environmental regulations.
Experts in planning, government and science discuss the scale of development planned for South West Sydney and whether it is compatible with the fight to save Sydney’s last koala colony, and the NSW Koala population more generally? We see survey work being undertaken by ecological consultants, wildlife carers rehabilitating injured koalas found on nearby roads, which then are tagged and released, with researchers tracking their movements back in the bush. We also hear from activists and conservationists concerned about the issues.
We look at biodiversity and environment protection regulations and ask if there are adequate safeguards for such endangered species. Meanwhile koalas found on Appin Rd and released back into the bush, make their way across the urban fringe full of hazards like cars and dogs.