The Australian Government is investing $18 million over the next two years to June 2022 to support Koala conservation actions. This investment is drawing on $14 million in bushfire recovery funding, given the impact of the 2019-20 bushfires on the Koala and its habitats.
The Koala (combined populations of QLD, NSW and ACT) was one of 92 vertebrate animals species listed by the Expert Panel as a priority for urgent management intervention, in response to the 2019-20 bushfires. The investment in Koala monitoring and recovery actions will be complemented by the re-assessment of its listing status by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the finalisation of the national recovery plan for the Koala.
The Koala Conservation package includes:
- $10 million to support habitat restoration and threat mitigation in bushfire-affected regions of New South Wales and south-east Queensland
- $2 million for Koala protection and recovery at additional sites identified from the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) workshops held in northern New South Wales (funded under the Environment Restoration Fund)
- $2 million for habitat restoration and threat mitigation in other non-bushfire affected regions of central and western New South Wales and northern and western Queensland (funded under the Environment Restoration Fund)
- $2 million for a Koala Health Initiative to support coordination and delivery of more effective health research and to support Koala veterinary activities
- $2 million for a National Koala Monitoring Program to produce a robust estimate of the national Koala population and fill key data gaps identified through the Koala re-assessment and recovery plan development process.
The funding builds on existing Australian Government commitments under the Environment Restoration Fund including:
- $3 million to support Koala hospitals in south east Queensland (announced in December 2019)
- $3 million to support habitat restoration in northern New South Wales and south east Queensland (announced in November 2019).
Koala Conservation INFFER Report
The report provides the results of a cost-benefit analysis, using the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) tool, to guide the Australian Government’s investment to protect Koalas sites in northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland. A summary of the report recommendations was presented at the Koala Roundtable held at Parliament House on 26 February 2020.