Nature & Wildlife

Saving koalas requires a bold new vision

The Nature Conservation Council welcomes Environment Minister Matt Kean’s pledge to double the state’s koala population by 2050 and stands ready to work with all parties to achieve that goal. [1]

“These are exactly the sorts of ambitious targets we need if we are to have any chance of saving the species,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“President John F Kennedy set the Americans the ambitious goal of landing a man on the moon, and they achieved it.

“The goal that Mr Kean has set for koala recovery is in the great tradition of leaders setting stretch goals to bring out the best in us all.

“The conservation movement wishes him every success and we stand ready to work with all parties to ensure we save the koala from extinction.

“While it is essential to set ambitious targets, these must be backed up with bold action. The plight of the koala is desperate. 

“Another horror fire season like the one we just had will be fatal for some colonies, so we must act without delay.”

“There were once hundreds of thousands of koalas in NSW — possibly millions — but now there are possibly as few as 15,000.  

“The population has declined by between 20% and 50% since 1990, and 5000 are thought to have died in the summer bushfires in just one region – the mid-north coast. Many others  perished elsewhere.”  


Mr Gambian said to ensure the species’ survival, the  government must:

  • Create the Great Koala National Park proposal, which would protect more than 55,000 hectares of prime koala habitat in the Coffs Harbour region that is currently at risk of being logged.
  • End logging and land clearing of all koala habitat on public and private land throughout the state.
  • Invest in large-scale revegetation of over-cleared landscapes, especially in modelled climate refuge and corridor areas. 



[1] Matt Kean aims to double koala population by 2050, SMH, 26-7-20