Port Stephens Council has unanimously backed a plan to build and operate a $3 million koala hospital and tourism facility at Treescape Holiday Park, One Mile Beach.
This one-of-a-kind facility is a joint initiative between Council and Port Stephens Koalas in response to challenges facing the region’s koala population.
Glenn Bunny, Council’s Property Services Section Manager, says Council is taking a proactive approach to declining koala populations.
"Port Stephens has one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast of Australia, so this facility is a way for us to ensure their survival long into the future," Mr. Bunny said.
“This is just one element of a wider Port Stephens Koala Strategy, which is currently being developed by Council.
“The hospital, which will be run by Port Stephens Koalas, will take in koalas from as far north as Port Macquarie, and as far south as Sydney”, he said.
Mr. Bunny says the tourism component of the facility will be run by Council.
“Not only will this facility help treat sick and injured koalas, it will also boost the region’s economy by creating a unique tourism destination for locals and visitors alike.
“There will also be an opportunity for an education and training component of the facility, where local veterinary students can come to learn about our local koalas,” he said.
Port Stephens Council predicts the facility will generate $1 million in revenue per year, including $675,000 from tourism and an uptake in accommodation of $345,000.
Council has applied for grant funding to cover part of the initial cost of the facility.
For more information and to have your say on the Port Stephens Koala Strategy, head to haveyoursay.portstephens.nsw.gov.au