The Berejiklian Government has gifted Port Stephens Koalas a special grant of $105,000 to contribute to its ongoing running costs and ensure its important work can continue, while plans for a new Koala Hospital progress.

Port Stephens Duty MLC, Catherine Cusack said the funding from Hunter Water will be allocated over three years and will assist the volunteer organisation in its efforts to preserve the local koala population by nursing sick and injured koalas back to health.

“The Berejiklian Government is a strong supporter of the organisation’s plans to build a new Koala Hospital, committing $3 million to the project in May last year. This facility is desperately needed and it will be crucial to ensure the protection and ongoing conservation of the local koala population,” said Ms Cusack

Port Stephens Liberal Candidate Jaimie Abbott said the grant builds on the Berejiklian Government’s previous commitment of $3 million to build and operate a koala care facility at One Mile Beach.

“Our beautiful region is renowned for its precious environment and koalas, and I’m pleased that the Berejiklian Government and Hunter Water will be extending further assistance to help one of our treasured national icons.

“This latest grant will ensure the volunteers can continue their vital work over the coming years in providing round-the-clock care to sick and injured koalas throughout the region, until the full hospital is up-and-running.

“The funding comes in addition to Hunter Water’s previous assistance to Port Stephens Koalas, which included contributing towards the costs of a new ‘ambulance’ vehicle in 2017 and a $35,000 donation in early 2018 to support a full-time koala hospital coordinator at its rehabilitation facility.

“Most recently, it made an emergency donation of more than $10,000 to enable Port Stephens Koalas to purchase urgent medical and rescue equipment to assist koalas injured in bushfires in November and December last year.

“I’m really glad the Berejiklian Government can offer this further support and I commend Port Stephens Koalas on its dedication and commitment to preserving the local population for future generations,” said Ms Abbott.