Safety signs to help protect koalas on Heathcote Road
The NSW Government has taken further action to protect koalas with signage to be put in place on Friday 8 September, to improve safety for the much-loved animal along a popular koala crossing stretch on Heathcote Road in Sydney’s south.
Transport for NSW (Transport) will install six permanent signs and two temporary signs between Princes Highway and Deadman’s Creek to warn motorists of koalas crossing in the area, encouraging them to slow down accordingly.
This will occur in the lead-up to summer to further amplify the message during koala breeding season.
These efforts are part of a wider campaign by the NSW Government to protect koalas and other native wildlife in an area experiencing rapid population and traffic growth.
Stage 1 of this work is now complete with koala access under Deadman’s Creek Bridge upgraded via a platform on the western side of the creek and a concrete walkway on the eastern side.
Stage 2 involves fencing either side of Heathcote Road to the north and south of Deadman’s Creek bridge to prevent animals from entering the road corridor and direct them to the bridge underpass and two nearby culverts under Heathcote Road.
Transport will continue investigations on ways to further ensure the safety of koalas with $1.5 million in funding that has been provided by the NSW Koala Strategy to begin the planning of the next stage of improvements at Deadman’s Creek.
This involves the potential of koala exclusion fencing, dependent on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and Review of Environmental Factors (REF).
Transport for NSW and Defence have also met to discuss damaged fencing along Heathcote Road which is able to be traversed by koalas.
Quotes attributable to Maryanne Stuart, Member for Heathcote:
“This is an important local initiative for our community to ensure that we are protecting the koala colony of around 180 in the Heathcote National Park.
“Safety and health of koalas is a key pillar of the NSW Koala Strategy, which prioritises action to fix vehicle strike hotspots across NSW.
“We want to do everything we can to allow koalas to boost their population in the area and give awareness to motorists so that they slow down and share the road especially as we head into the summer months and koala breeding season.
“We know there are many factors that pose a risk to the safety of koalas – including vehicle strikes.
“With koalas on the move now, please take care in driving our roads.
“I’d like to thank the community who have contacted me regarding their concerns and Minister Graham for his work in the space and his commitment to providing greater protections for our local koalas.
“We look forward to working with Transport for NSW and our other local stakeholders to take further action to protect and preserve the koala population in the area.”