The NSW Government is reviewing the NSW Koala Strategy and asking for submissions from the community, which we strongly encourage engaging with to ensure a united voice is calling for real reform. 

Campbelltown_Koala_credit_Geoff_Francis.jpgCampbelltown Koala. Credit: Geoff Francis

We have created a one page submission guide after meeting with our Network Members who consist of national, state, and local environment groups. Our submission guide focuses on how to strengthen protections for koalas found in the Sydney Basin (from Port Stephens/Hunter to the Blue Mountains/Hawkesbury and down to the Southern Highlands/Illawarra), however almost all these points apply to policy reforms that would have benefits for koalas state wide. 

Our main points for an effective NSW Koala Strategy are listed below. In addition, if you are new to writing submission here are a few points to help structure your submission effectively:

  • Introduce yourself briefly and mention your affiliation if applicable (e.g., environmental organisation, concerned citizen).
  • Write a sentence or two about why it is important to you that the NSW Government strengthens protections for koalas.
  • Acknowledge that the current strategy is not working, and to be effective it must include the prevention of habitat loss from development.
  • Choose some points (or all of them) from our submission guide that matter to you, and add any other additional thoughts you have.  
  • Thank the NSW Government for the opportunity to share your thoughts, and include your contact details should they want to discuss further. 

Submissions to the Koala Strategy Review are due APRIL 26th 2024 and can be submitted via email, online form, or by post here.

NSW Koala Strategy Review Submission Guide for the Sydney Basin


  • The strategy is not the primary instrument to protect koalas.
  • Fundamental weakness is the strategy does not prevent land clearing. 
  • No evidence of strategy improving outcomes for koalas. 
  • Measures of success of the strategy are action based not outcome based. 
  • Science based vehicle strike mitigation is being scuppered by Transport for NSW.


  • The Koala Strategy must support the biodiversity conservation aims of BCA, LLS, EBPCA & Koala SEPP reforms, in line with recommendations from the 2020 NSW Koala inquiry
  • Offsets need to be strictly limited. They are not like for like & lead to a net loss in appropriate koala habitat for local koala populations.
  • NSW Planning reforms must also consider koala habitat connectivity on private land on the peri-urban edge (i.e. lot sizes and environmental zoning).
  • The Koala Strategy should have primacy over Transport for NSW to ensure science based solutions are quickly implemented in vehicle strike hotspots, including speed limit reductions.
  • Communities must have trust that community consultation will improve outcomes for koalas & not be a box-ticking exercise.


  • Urgently finalise the Koala SEPP Guideline - applying a full list of koala habitat trees to rural and urban land so that corridors can be mapped across LGAs. 
  • Add all LGAs in the Sydney Basin with koala sightings to the Koala SEPP i.e. Sutherland Shire, Penrith, and Hills Shire.
  • Fund councils to map habitat and develop Comprehensive Koala Plans of Management (CKPoMs) ensuring all councils with koala sightings have habitat maps and CKPoMs in place.
  • Urgently adopt interim controls on koala habitat in Areas of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS) to prevent clearing of koala habitat across public, and private land.
  • Give recognised koala corridors legal protection e.g. via relevant SEPP changes, by following Chief Scientist recommendations to protect, restore, & zone appropriately sized corridors as conservation land (C2).
  • Scrap the Rural Boundary Clearing Code (RBCC) to prevent further fragmentation of koala habitat.
  • Reform the Local Land Services (LLS) Act to end code based clearing and strictly limit allowable activities on koala habitat.
  • Reform the Biodiversity Conservation Act (BCA) and strictly limit the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) to strengthen protection for koalas (and other species).
  • Give Koala Strategy primacy to incorporate wildlife mitigation measures such as overpasses and underpasses into plans for all new roads & upgrades & lowering speed limits in known roadkill hotspots.
  • Add Hawkesbury as a priority koala population.
  • Increase funding and support for koala rescue and rehabilitation and to enable timely entry of koala rescue records into sightings database Bionet. 
  • Undertake a strategic supply plan to reduce ad-hoc quarry development on koala habitat.
  • Ensure the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan protects all koala habitat classified as urban capable and restores key koala corridors to optimum width.
  • Use cool burn techniques if back burning is required on sensitive habitat, & classify key koala corridors as environmental assets to protect during bushfires.
  • End native forest logging in NSW.

Submissions to the Koala Strategy Review are due MAY 24 2024 & can be submitted via email, online form, or by post here.