Cr Peter Alley says Port Maquarie-Hastings Council is also developing a Biodiversity Strategy

The other day, I glanced outside and saw an echidna waddling up my suburban street. A neighbour and I rushed out to give him a helping hand and he was safely relocated to some nearby bushland.

Driving through Port Macquarie a few weeks ago, a koala decided it was a good time to graduate from Westport Public School and go to TAFE, crossing the Oxley Highway. Luckily this little fellow made it across safely.

These things serve to remind us that we live in such a beautiful part of the world amongst the most amazing creatures. While whale numbers are slowly recovering, we are seeing a decline in Koala numbers and further pressures on our wildlife and biodiversity.

As more people emigrate from Sydney and other places and choose our region to settle, we are under pressure to balance development and growth with sustainability. As we plan for more housing, we are also planning to protect our natural environment from threats.

Our Koala population continues to be under threat. In our urban and suburban areas, the main risk our Koalas face is being hit cars or attacked by dogs. We are developing plans that will preserve Koala areas away from our urban and suburban population areas.

In parallel to this, Council is also developing a Biodiversity Strategy, aiming to ensure that we protect the rich biological values of our natural environment. This strategy will help identify the areas of risk where priority action needs to be taken and the areas where there are threatened ecological communities. By identifying the key habitat linkages and planting connections we can optimize where we put our efforts to receive the most benefit.

We have inherited the beauty of our natural environment from previous generations. Our aim is to pass it on to the next generations in a better state.

These are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of Port Macquarie Hastings Council.