14 April 2023

Money for a good claws: Grant applications to help save koalas now open

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Michael McCormack with a koala

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack says Australia without koalas is unthinkable and round two of the Saving Koalas Fund grants is an opportunity for the region to help save the beloved marsupial for future generations. Photo: Supplied.

Riverina community groups may be eligible for government grants that could aid their efforts to save koalas.

Round two of the Saving Koalas Fund grants is now open for applications, which close on 9 May.

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said round two offered grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 for small-scale projects and activities that supported the recovery and protection of koalas.

“There are pockets of koala populations in the Riverina and Central West, and plenty of people in our communities who would like to see those populations grow and thrive,” Mr McCormack said.

“Here is an opportunity to obtain resources to make that happen.

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“An Australia without koalas is unthinkable, so let’s jump on this opportunity for the region to play its part in saving koalas for future generations to see and love as much as we do.”

Mr McCormack said grants could fund 100 per cent of eligible projects, but cash or in-kind contributions, including volunteer contributions, were strongly encouraged to amplify the impact of the program. Co-contributions can come from State Government or Local Government grants.

“Applications close on 9 May, so I would encourage anyone interested in a Saving Koalas Fund grant to get working on their applications as soon as possible,” he said.

The Saving Koalas Fund is set to provide $76.9 million to support the recovery and long-term conservation of koalas over four years, with $2.5 million a year for ongoing monitoring.

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Funding is provided through the Saving Native Species Program and the Natural Heritage Trust, which is set to deliver in partnership with First Nations people, conservation organisations, governments, scientists, communities and land managers.

The Saving Koalas Fund will be distributed across four key areas: community grants, large-habitat restoration projects, the National Koala Monitoring Program; and koala health and care projects.

Eligible activities for the funding include improving koala corridors that allow for movement across the landscape, planting koala food trees and creating new koala habitat, First Nations-led caring for Country activities that support koalas, and restoring koala habitat by removing large woody weeds like lantana so koala-friendly trees become accessible and usable again.

For more information about the fund, application process and eligibility criteria, click here.

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