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$2 million care package for Port Stephens Koala Hospital

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Port Stephens Koala Hospital president Ron Land has labelled Labor’s $2 million election promise a “welcomed boost”.

The funding, if the party prevails on 25 March, will enable the much-loved facility to care for more sick and injured marsupials.

“This is a wonderful commitment of sorely-needed funds to prevent the extinction of koalas in Port Stephens,” Mr Land said.

“For more than 34 years, we have championed the cause of them.

“So, this is a tremendous acknowledgement of the work we do… and is greatly appreciated.”

NSW Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe and Port Stephens state MP Kate Washington at the Port Stephens Koala Hospital.

The hospital provides essential rehabilitation for koalas in the Port Stephens area, ensuring the iconic endangered animals have the best chance of being returned safely to the wild.

Key threats include habitat loss, road strikes, dog attacks and chlamydia infection.

Labor’s pledge on Wednesday 15 March will allow the facility to deliver veterinary and nursing services, offer additional surgical procedures and guarantee no sick or injured koala has to be turned away from care.

Port Stephens state MP Kate Washington admitted it was a major windfall for the region.

“The people of Port Stephens are proud of our koala hospital, which is powered by hundreds of volunteers,” she said.

“I’m honoured to have been there from the start.

“I remember when sketches of Port Stephens Koala Hospital were unfurled on my desk and I secured seed funding.

“I will always back our beloved koalas and the hard-working crew at the facility.”

The latest announcement builds on Labor’s plan to save koalas in NSW by creating a Great Koala National Park on the Mid-North Coast, a Georges River Koala National Park in south-west Sydney, and protecting key wildlife corridors in southern Sydney.

The party, under Chris Minns, will refocus the NSW Koala Strategy, too, into a species recovery scheme and develop a long-term National Parks Establishment proposal to protect koala habitat into the future.

“Koalas in NSW are in trouble and on track to be extinct in the wild by 2050 unless urgent action is taken,” NSW Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe said.

“Saving Port Stephens’ koala population is important for the continued survival of the species in the state.

“The hospital is helping to secure that by caring for and rehabilitating sick and injured koalas to give them the best chance of returning to the wild.

“This funding will aid them to continue their important work.”

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