Why did Cranky Koala come to Goulburn and cross the road?
To get to the other side safely and to send the message to our governments that too many koalas are still being killed by traffic.
On Save the Koala Day last year (September 28 ) Cranky Koala visited Goulburn to highlight the deaths of 11 koalas over 12 weeks on the Appin and Picton Rds, and challenge the NSW Government on their years of inaction, while overseeing a steady decline in koala numbers across the state.
The response focussed on koala strategies being developed. Since then, a $45 million strategy has now been announced for NSW.
It will continue funding to undertake more studies, look at roadkill hot spots, fund wildlife hospitals and create small reserves.
Cranky Koala gave an update on the situation this week.
“The disease free koala colony on the outskirts of Sydney continue to lose their homes and are forced onto Heathcote, Appin and Piction Roads and into urban backyards and straight under the wheels of cars, and into the jaws of dogs,” Cranky Koala (AKA Mark Selmes) said.
“Our state government continues to talk about exclusion fencing along major roads. Yep, fencing will keep koalas out. Out of sight and out of mind.
“Unless there are safe wildlife overpasses, or correctly placed underpass the numbers will continue to decline.
“These overpasses work successfully in other parts of Australia and have been used across the world for decades. Yet no mention of overpasses for our koalas?
“NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton managed to spend $7.5 million on a wildlife overpass north of the harbour bridge. This is very worthy - but it’s not for koalas, and there are still no plans to save the koala colonies south of the bridge.
”Humans have crossings. They have overpasses and underpasses at railway lines and across many major roads as part of the planning process.
“They are routinely incorporated successfully for wildlife all around the world , making roads safer for both humans and animals .
“NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair has just announced $3 million in grants to farmers for underpasses to remove the need for cattle to cross country roads, improving safety for livestock owners, their employees and motorists.
“The larger issues of why koalas come into conflict with humans - land clearing and logging, don’t get a mention.”