Protecting Koalas through habitat restoration

Koalas are uniquely Australian. They are one of our most loved and iconic animals and people come from all over the world to see them. Koalas, like all native animals, are culturally significant to the Indigenous People of the lands in which they live. Unfortunately, koala populations are more and more at risk of decline for a variety of reasons.

A growing human population, particularly in areas along Australia’s east coast, has led to large-scale clearing of better-quality koala habitats with many koala populations struggling within smaller, fragmented patches of poorer quality habitat. Other threats, such as drought, fire, climate change, disease, vehicle strike and dog attack are further impacting koala populations.

Creating ‘habitat refuges’ in areas remote from, and resilient to, such threats is extremely important for long-term koala persistence

Koala project EOI

A koala on the side of a road looking at the cameraNorth Coast Local Land Services (LLS) is inviting you to participate in an exciting new koala conservation management project – Koala Habitat Restoration and Protection in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen. This is your opportunity to help protect the koala which is listed as Endangered by State and Commonwealth conservation departments.

LLS is seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) from landowners interested in protecting key koala habitat in the Coffs Harbour and the northern section of Bellingen local government areas, a location identified as an Area of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS).

We are looking for private landholders who are interested in restoring and maintaining natural assets on their land. This project will use local expertise and knowledge to prioritise and deliver coordinated strategic on-ground actions.

Successful landowners will be eligible for technical advice, site planning and funding of restoration works to improve koala habitat on their property.

Fill in the EOI form by Wednesday, 16 August 2023.

Management activities eligible for funding include:

  • Controlling environmental weeds in key habitat areas
  • Installing fences to control impacts from livestock and wildlife friendly fencing
  • Planting (revegetation) koala food trees and other important forest building and habitat species
  • Fire management planning and activities to protect habitat from wildfire and/or undertake ecological burning to improve koala habitat.

These activities will be underpinned by sound native vegetation restoration advice, a site assessment and a management plan provided by LLS.

Let the project team know through your EOI if you have had any professional assessment or appraisal of the native vegetation or have undertaken past restoration works at your property.

The project team are working closely with local and state government koala recovery programs and Landcare. A partnership approach will achieve the best outcomes for koala and the Commonwealth investment.

Eligibility criteria

  1. Your land is privately owned, freehold tenure, within the Coffs Harbour - North Bellingen Area of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS) see mapped area.
  2. Your property supports native vegetation that contains mature eucalypt trees, or areas of regrowing native vegetation.
  3. Areas of disused paddocks you seek to replant with koala food trees will be considered if they are large areas and adjoin good koala habitat.
  4. You should discuss with LLS any land use obligation or agreement such as a conservation agreement, or other grant funds you have or a private native forestry plan that applies to your proposed work area.

How to apply

Fill in the EOI form by August 16, 2023.

If you need help submitting the online application, please email or phone North Coast LLS on 1300 795 299 and a member from our Koala Project Team can assist you to complete the form over the phone.

What happens after you apply?

  1. Expressions of interest will be assessed by the LLS project team and site visits will be offered to those expressions that rank highly.
  2. We will work with you to identify the key management activities; map restoration areas & develop a site management plan to guide effective recovery actions.
  3. To proceed with the project, landholders must sign a management agreement which details the restoration works and maintenance requirements. Funds to undertake habitat protection works at your property will be contracted to professional restoration practitioners by LLS.
  4. Landholders will be invited to attend events that include information on koala ecology and habitat recovery, the cultural significance of koala to Indigenous groups, or presentations from ecologist and restoration practitioners.

Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter to be kept in the loop about future opportunities.


North Coast Local Land Services are working with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Koala Strategy, the City of Coffs Harbour and Bellingen Shire Council, Traditional Owner Groups, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Bellinger and Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare, Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance, CSIRO, the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust, and others.

This project is funded by the Australian Government’s Saving Koalas Fund.

Protecting our koalas on the north coast

Local Land Services have successfully delivered a koala project, funded by the Australian Government, that focused on recovery actions that protect, enhance and restore Koala habitat on private land. This project worked in four key Areas of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS) between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.

How you can help

North Coast Local Land Services are encouraging anyone in the North Coast to log koala sightings in the NSW Government Citizen Science application - I Spy Koala. The app allows community members to record details about their sightings of koalas including information about the location and condition of the koala, as well as photos and other information.

Data from the app will be available for access through the interactive NSW Government Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) portal. The SEED Portal was developed with and for the community of NSW as a central place for everyone to find data about the environment.

Related information