Pacific Highway must not harm precious North Coast koalas

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The NSW Opposition is reiterating calls for the Broadwater to Ballina upgrade of the Pacific Highway to be rerouted to avoid bisecting a significant koala population.

Joined by Friends of the Koala and the International Fund for Animal Welfare at NSW Parliament today, Labor MPs today received a petition of 17,149 signatures from across NSW and especially from people who live on the North Coast.

In NSW, koalas are listed as vulnerable to extinction and are on the Federal threatened species list.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe

“Our state’s koalas are under serious threat – we cannot afford to see another koala population put at risk.”

“In the past 20 years koala numbers on the North Coast have declined by one third. With habitat loss koalas have disappeared from 75 per cent of their previous range.”

“In NSW we should be protecting our declining koala populations, not building roads that will reduce their numbers. Other routes must be considered.”  

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay

“The Pacific Highway must be upgraded between Broadwater and Ballina – but there are potential routes that won’t have such a negative environmental impact.”

“The Government can and should reroute that portion of the road.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord

“The North Coast has a pristine environment and its precious koala population is part of what makes this region so unique.”

“The Baird Government should listen to locals and reroute this road, to protect the precious koalas.”