It’s hoped the Hunter will get a share in a $10 million funding stream to protect endangered koalas on the East Coast.
It’s part of a larger $50 million package launched by the Federal Government.
There’s concern development and habitat loss, such as at the Brandy Hill quarry expansion, are pushing local populations to the brink.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley says the Commonwealth’s committed to keeping the species thriving.
“When we restore and invest in koala habitat, it makes sense to do it where the koala trees are, where the corridors are,” Ms Ley said.
“Where there are strong areas of habitat and we can actually act on a landscape scale.”
Liberal Candidate for Paterson Brooke Vitnell is urging the Government to get behind efforts to protect habitats in Port Stephens.
Ms Ley didn’t confirm money will flow into local programs, though they will be eligible.
Oakvale Wildlife Park owner Kent Sansom says they could do with the support, especially as the region bounces back from COVID.
“Obviously, we took a big hit internationally,” Mr Sansom said. “We lost all our international visitors at the park.”
“But local support has been incredible. Obviously, people can’t travel overseas, so everyone just wants to get out, and what better place to get out than in your local environment and to be outside and pat animals, be educated about wildlife, and have fun doing it.”