Video of mother and baby koalas on Heathcote Road to add pressure for protection measures

A mother koala with her baby on her back walks along Heathcote Road. Picture: Sutherland Shire Environment Centre Facebook
A mother koala with her baby on her back walks along Heathcote Road. Picture: Sutherland Shire Environment Centre Facebook

A video of a mother koala with a baby on her back walking at night on Heathcote Road will strengthen the campaign for fencing and other protection measures in the well-known wildlife kill zone.

A Sandy Point resident spotted the koalas, and her video was posted on the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre Facebook page.

"This one survived the crossing but there have been two koala killings this month at Sandy Point," the post said.

Sutherland Shire Environment Centre has joined with National Parks Association Southern Sydney Branch, Friends of the Royal National Park, Georges River Environmental Alliance and Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society calling for both state and local governments to implement increased protection for koalas and suitable wildlife corridors."

Earlier this month, a motorist saw a koala hit by a semi-trailer on Heathcote Road.

The harrowing incident was reported on the Sandy Point Residents' Community Facebook page.

Hard to bear: Peter Mahoney (left), Sue Gay, James Michael Deli, Sharyn Cullis and John Anderson campaign on Heathcote Road in 2018. Picture: John Veage

Hard to bear: Peter Mahoney (left), Sue Gay, James Michael Deli, Sharyn Cullis and John Anderson campaign on Heathcote Road in 2018. Picture: John Veage

"Driving out of the Point I just watched a koala that had become stranded by concrete trying to climb the side walls to get off the bridge turn around and be run down by a semi. Please watch out for wildlife," the post said.

Secretary of Georges River Environmental Alliance Sharyn Cullis said the area of Deadman's Bridge, Sandy Point on Heathcote Road continued to be a kill spot for koala.

"The RMS, councils and the Army, who owns most of the adjoining koala lands, need to get their act together," Ms Cullis said.

"Directional wildlife fencing could perhaps funnel the koalas to underneath the high bridge to avoid the road crossing above.

"Work can be done to make such wildlife road underpasses wildlife friendly, by decorating them with fauna 'furniture', like logs and plants."

In July this year, a parliamentary inquiry found koalas could become extinct in NSW by 2050 without urgent government intervention to protect their habitat.

The report recommended an urgent survey of koala numbers following last summer's bushfires and for the government to "urgently prioritise the protection of koala habitat and corridors in the planning and implementation stages of urban growth areas".

In 2018, wildlife advocates in St George and Sutherland Shire told the Leader six koalas had been killed on Heathcote Road in a year, including two within a week.

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