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The Port Stephens Council Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPoM) was developed throughout the 1990's, endorsed by Council in 2001, and approved by the Department of Planning in 2002. The CKPoM covers the entire Port Stephens Local Government Area (LGA) and continues to be an effective tool to assist Council in managing the balance between the conservation of natural resources and the ongoing community development of Port Stephens.

The CKPoM provides a high level of transparency for the community regarding koala conservation activities in Port Stephens, the location of identified koala habitat, threats posed to koalas in Port Stephens and an opportunity to engage constructively in the further development of koala conservation measures in the region.

The principal aim of the CKPoM (which is consistent with state planning policies) is to:

'Encourage the proper conservation and management of areas of natural vegetation that provide habitat for koalas, to ensure permanent free-living populations over their present range and to reverse the current trend of population decline.'

The CKPoM contains 13 objectives relating to identifying key habitat, implementation of conservation programs, community education and ongoing research into the koala population(s) of Port Stephens. The CKPoM states these objectives will be achieved in co-operation with the community and key stakeholders through the implementation of the action plan contained within the CKPoM.

A CKPoM Steering Committee was established to guide the development of the CKPoM as well as the implementation of the CKPoM Action Plan. For membership of the CKPoM visit the CKPoM Steering Committee page here.

The CKPoM is consistent with the National Koala Strategy and was prepared in accordance with State Environmental Planning Policy No. 44 – Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP 44) and supersedes the requirements of SEPP 44 in the Port Stephens LGA. The LGA wide approach taken through the adoption and implementation of the CKPoM is favoured by both the NSW Department of Planning and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage as it provides for more reliable and consistent koala habitat assessments and ensures the existence of a development assessment framework in Port Stephens, consistent with the requirements of SEPP 44.

Planning and Development

For the broader community, the CKPoM is most commonly utilised in the planning process, through providing guidance for strategic and development planning decision making. The CKPoM provides broad scale mapping of koala habitat that establishes a clear and consistent identification of sensitive areas of the LGA and the need for development to take this issue into consideration (without this mapping this would need to be identified by individual applications).  The mapping identified within the CKPoM is designed as a trigger for further investigation through the development assessment process.

In a development application context, the provisions of the CKPoM become one of a number of relevant matters for consideration in development application determinations under Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. Performance criteria for the assessment of Planning Proposals and Development Applications are provided in the CKPoM.

Importantly, compliance with the CKPoM constitutes compliance with SEPP 44 for relevant matters in the Port Stephens LGA. The compliance with SEPP 44 and previous endorsement by Department of Planning reduces development costs for individual developers by overriding the need to undertake costly and detailed koala studies and prepare and exhibit individual Koala Plans of Management for concurrence by Planning NSW, as would be required under SEPP 44 in the absence of the CKPoM.


CKPoM Steering Committee

Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPoM) Steering Committee membership.



Primary Chair – Port Stephens Council (PSC)

Cr Sarah Smith

Alternative Chair – Port Stephens Council (PSC)

Cr John Nell

Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)

Paul Hillier

Wildlife In Need of Care (WINC)

Lorraine Yudaeff

Australian Koala Foundation (AKF)

Deborah Tabart

Native Animal Trust Fund (NATF)

Audrey Koosmen

Hunter Koala Preservation Society (HKPS)

Carmel Northwood

Hunter Water Corporation (HWC)

Jack Albert

Community Member 1

Garry Worth

Community Member 2

Roger Yeo

Community Member 3

Sue Hirsch

Community Member 4


Community Member 5

Donna Hucker


Duncan Jinks (Acting Natural Resources Coordinator - PSC)


Jo Atkins (PSC)


Customer Support Officer, Strategy & Environment
Phone: (02) 4988 0255
Fax: (02) 4987 3612