The multi-million-dollar reserve is being created to strengthen species numbers and deliver environmental benefits for the area.
Minister for planning and minister for homes Anthony Roberts said 54 hectares of land at Lysaght Road has been transferred from the Office of Strategic Lands to the New South Wales (NSW) National Parks & Wildlife Service for the new Georges River Koala Reserve.
“The Macarthur region is home to a growing koala population in NSW, and this transfer builds on that, helping boost their habitat while also facilitating an important movement corridor which extends through to the Southern Highlands,” he said.
The reserve is part of the wider Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan – a commitment to protect south-west Sydney’s environmental assets and koala population, while providing certainty for investment in a growing part of Sydney.
“Once completed, the reserve will give local communities access to nature-based recreation,” said Roberts. “It will also offer potential opportunities for educational activities and koala-based tourism.”
Minister for environment James Griffin said the transfer of land to the national park estate is good news for koalas and other species that co-exist with them. “This 54 hectares of land is the first instalment in creating the Georges River Koala Reserve, which will help protect a critical koala colony by providing corridors for koalas and other animals to move between Long Point and Appin,” he said. “Once fully established, the reserve will protect up to 1,830 hectares of koala habitat and wildlife corridors in perpetuity.”
For the first five years of the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan’s implementation, the NSW Government is committing at least AU$114m for activities including restoring koala habitat in the Georges River Koala Reserve, installing exclusion fencing to keep koalas safe, and constructing two crossings to allow fauna movement across Appin Road.