House debates

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Statements by Members

Animal Welfare: Koalas

1:51 pm

Photo of Meryl SwansonMeryl Swanson (Paterson, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

There's a very special group in my electorate called Port Stephens Koalas, and next week I will be delighted to host the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, to officially open Port Stephens Koala Hospital. This special team, Port Stephens Koalas, is ably led by president Ron Land, and it includes a dedicated team of vets and very special volunteers who work tirelessly to save and rehabilitate our koalas—and the odd wombat too, I might add! They know every life matters, because, quite frankly, the koala population in New South Wales is down to around 25,000. Can you imagine if we lose koalas on our watch? It's unfathomable. That's why I'm so proud that we were able to secure $3 million to fund groundbreaking conservation and research into reproductive technologies for koalas. In addition to habitat loss and loss of genetic diversity, that is one of the key things to keeping our koalas in the wild for the long term, and this program directly addresses that problem of diversity. It's the best chance of saving koalas we've got. If you are lucky enough to visit our part of the world in Port Stephens, I encourage you to go there. (Time expired)