Next Steps Announced For the Great Koala National Park

The Government of New South Wales has announced the process to establish the Great Koala National Park, as well as a halt to timber harvesting operations in the 106 koala hubs within the area being assessed for the park.

The creation of the Great Koala National Park on the NSW Mid North Coast is the largest environmental commitment from the NSW Government and a crucial part of the overall strategy to save koalas from extinction in NSW.

While the work to establish the park is carried out, the government said it will implement a halt to timber harvesting in koala hubs within the assessment area for the park. Operations were paused on Friday 1 September 2023, by agreement with Forestry Corporation of NSW.

The 106 koala hubs cover more than 8400 hectares of state forest. Koala hubs are areas where there is strong evidence of multi-generational, high-density populations of the iconic animal. Koala hubs cover approximately 5% of the Great Koala National Park assessment area but contain 42% of recorded koala sightings in state forests in the assessment area since 2000.

The process of establishing the park will involve 3 key components:

  • An independent economic and social assessment which will consider the impacts on local jobs and communities
  • The establishment of industry, community, and Aboriginal advisory panels to provide input to the creation of the park, and
  • An expert environmental and cultural heritage assessment to safeguard the unique environmental and cultural heritage of the region and ensure the Great Koala National Park aligns with the highest standards of environmental protection and respect for cultural heritage.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said: “The Great Koala National Park is a high priority and we are working hard across government to establish this significant undertaking.”

“The government commits to working closely with the industry to develop a blueprint for the future timber sector that accommodates both the park and the production of timber products.”