Koala crossings to feature in safety upgrades throughout Sydney's south-west
In a first for south-western Sydney, new dedicated koala crossings are being planned and built along Appin Road as part of the NSW Government’s plan to protect native wildlife.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said these and other fauna protection measures have been developed after recent studies into koala habitats and recommendations from scientists and the community.
“Transport for NSW is putting in place a network of tunnels and fences between Rosemeadow and Appin township to protect koalas at one of the worst roadkill locations in NSW,” the spokesperson said.
“Planning is also underway for dedicated fauna road-underpasses on Appin Road at Beulah and Noorumba reserves, providing koala underpasses at the Brian Road intersection, improving the underpass at Kings Falls Bridge and installing exclusion fencing at all locations.
“Transport for NSW is also improving koala connectivity on Heathcote Road near Sandy Point by upgrading fauna pathways under Deadmans Creek bridge.”
These underpasses have involved collaboration between Transport for NSW, the Department of Planning and Environment and other stakeholders.
Such measures also complement work being undertaken through the NSW Koala Strategy to protect habitat from fragmentation, which can exacerbate risk of vehicle strike.
Vehicle strikes can happen when koalas move through their habitat in search of food or a mate and are a significant threat for this iconic species.
Measures including creating or improving wildlife crossings and installing fencing will help prevent injuries to koalas and other wildlife.
The Appin Road upgrades will support a NSW Government commitment to improving housing supply in south western Sydney.
Working together with Lendlease, the Appin Road upgrade between Mount Gilead and Ambervale will ensure safe access to future housing while also protecting local wildlife.
Transport for NSW is currently inviting the community to have their say on plans to add fauna crossings at this location.
The Appin Road upgrade includes purpose-built fauna underpass crossings near Noorumba Reserve and Beulah.
Investigations are also underway for another fauna underpass crossing at the intersection with Brian Road to improve the Ousedale Creek koala habitat corridor.
The work involves installing a 2.4 metre-wide pipe underneath the road at this location with supporting exclusion fencing and tree planting to provide safe passage for koalas.
Transport for NSW and the Department of Planning and Environment are also providing a dry-passage fauna crossing underneath Kings Falls Bridge east of Appin township.
This crossing includes 710 metres of fauna fencing.
Meanwhile, work on koala connectivity measures is already underway on Heathcote Road near Sandy Point.
Stage 1 of work has been completed on the fauna path under the Deadmans Creek bridge, where Transport for NSW has recently built a platform on the western side of the creek and a concrete walkway on the eastern side to improve access.
Stage 2 will involve fencing either side of Heathcote Road to the north and south of Deadmans Creek bridge, with early planning now taking place.
More than $10 million has been committed statewide to vehicle strike mitigation under the strategy, as part of the NSW Government’s commitment of more than $190 million towards the long-term goal to double koala numbers in New South Wales by 2050.
For further information about the Appin Road upgrades and to have your say go to nswroads.work/appinroad
For more information about Deadmans Creek go to https://nswroads.work/koala-protection