September 17, 2020
Gunnedah Shire Council this week voted to allocate funds to plant the first eucalypt plantation for Gunnedah’s new Koala Park.
As the need for the drought-driven Farmer Army declines, Council has decided to reallocate $60,000 from Farmer Army projects to get a eucalypt plantation underway and ensure a food supply for the park’s koalas.
Gunnedah Shire Council Chief Engineer Dan Noble said following advice from an environmental consultant, two locations had been finalised for eucalypt plantations, the Koala Park site on the Oxley Highway and the Gunnedah Soil Conservation Research Station on the Kamilaroi Highway.
“It is now an opportune time of the year to start planting,” Mr Noble said.
“This funding will allow the sites to be prepared and trees to be planted to ensure they are tended and growing ahead of the opening of the new Koala Park.
“This is a really exciting project and, as well as local contractors, we are hoping we can get the community involved in helping to plant these trees.”
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said it was good to see work could soon start on this preparation for the koala park and hospital.
“The Koala Park will be an amazing addition to our Shire, and the hospital facility will help our koala population,” Cr Chaffey said.
“This move towards starting the plantation is a great result.
“While some funds have been re-allocated from the Farmer Army, the Farmer Army initiative will continue, and has been a great success story during the past six months.
“The rain this year has meant the demand for the Farmer Army has reduced, but we still have some members at work on projects like the Stock Road beautification and soon, the new temporary community garden near the Smithurst Theatre. A number of the Farmer Army members have actually been recruited to Council on a full-time basis.
“The Koala Park and the Farmer Army are an example of the great things that are happening in Gunnedah this year.”
Caption: Plans are underway for eucalyptus plantations that will feed the koalas at Gunnedah’s new Koala Park.
Media contact: Eliza Gallen (02) 6740 2100.