The committee found that climate change is having a severe impact on koala populations by affecting the quality of their food and habitat and compounding the severity and impact of other threats, such as drought and bushfires.
The committee recommends that the NSW Government factor in climate change as a key consideration in the drafting of all relevant legislation and planning strategies and ensure climate change mitigation is a core component of all strategies to save the koala in New South Wales.
There has been a substantial loss of both suitable koala habitat and koalas across NSW as a result of the 2019-2020 bushfires. The restoration and replenishment of koala habitat lost to bushfire in national parks must be urgently prioritised by the Government with a plan publicly released as to how they will achieve this.
The committee recommends that the Government urgently investigates the utilisation of core koala habitat on private land and in State forests to replenish koala habitat lost in the bushfires.
The committee recommends that the Government support the establishment of a well-resourced network of wildlife hospitals in key areas of the state, including the North Coast, North-West, Blue Mountains, South West Sydney, Southern Tablelands and South Coast, staffed by suitably qualified personnel and veterinarians, including funding where appropriate.