Local wildlife activists have called on Campbelltown Council to do more to save the Macarthur region’s koalas.
Wollondilly Council has launched a campaign, with placards, t-shirts and a petition, in a bid to save the only chlamydia-free koala colony in Sydney.
The council is actively supporting the efforts of activists, with both parties now urging Campbelltown councillors to join the fight.
Activists want the state government to provide wildlife overpasses and underpasses along Appin Road, greater protection of koala habitats and exclusion fencing on both sides of Appin Road.
‘Help Save the Wildlife and Bushland in Campbelltown’ Facebook page administrator Ricardo Lonza organised a peaceful rally on Sunday, June 3.
Mr Lonza said he was pleased to see representatives of Wollondilly Council and Liverpool Council at the rally but was disappointed there were not more representatives of Campbelltown Council, besides Greens councillor Ben Moroney.
“I would have liked to have seen the mayor at the rally,” he said.
“We’ve got the support of Wollondilly and Liverpool, now we just need to get Campbelltown, Wollongong and Sutherland councils to join the fight.”
Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan said she had written to all mayors across Sydney encouraging them to support Wollondilly Council’s Save Our Koalas campaign.
“I’m asking all mayors to get on board,” she said.
“I have no idea why the Campbelltown mayor is not as passionate about the region’s koalas.
“However, some Campbelltown councillors are very supportive.”
Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic dismissed the criticism levelled at his council.
He said the council had lobbied, through the “appropriate” ways, to protect the local koala colony.
Cr Brticevic said protecting the koalas and their habitat was a “high priority” but it was ultimately the responsibility of the state government.
“I commend those people for doing the peaceful rally,” he said.
“We aren’t out there holding signs or wearing t-shirts or getting into koala suits but we are making the very appropriate representations that are going straight to the minister.
“I have made representations to Campbelltown MP Greg Warren asking him to make representations to the state government.
“Koala protection is a state issue given Appin Road is a state road.”
Cr Brticevic said the council had a koala management plan and had written to the state ministers asking that fauna-exclusion fencing and underpasses be considered when upgrading Appin Road.
“Everyone is passionate about koalas but let’s not forget the many lives lost in collisions on Appin Road,” he said.
“I won’t stop lobbying for the widening of the road.”