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Sustainability grant helps fund new koala habitat in Greater Geelong

Sustainability grant helps fund new koala habitat in Greater Geelong
December 31, 2020

A community-driven tree planting program to aid the long-term survival of the local koala population, will be part-funded by the City of Greater Geelong via a $9000 Environmental Sustainability grant.

The project, conceived and led by not-for-profit organisation the Koala Clancy Foundation, will help the local koala population by creating an indigenous tree corridor linking the You Yangs Regional Park (22 km north-east of Geelong) to Little River.

The project will not only help regenerate a precious ecosystem and buffer wildlife from the impacts of climate change, it will also help enhance the You Yangs and surrounds as a low-impact wildlife tourism destination.

With the help of volunteers, the foundation plans to plant more than 3000 grassy woodland trees and shrubs along a corridor of privately owned farmland near Little River. The majority of trees for the project will be sourced from a local nursery, with others to be sown from seed by the volunteers.

Koala Clancy Foundation president, Janine Duffy said the new woodland would help koalas move into fertile, moisture-rich tree areas along the river in times of heat stress such as drought or bushfire.

Duffy advises “this project is especially critical given the impact of climate change and the likelihood that koala habitat away from waterways will become increasingly dry.

“We’ve been lucky to find a landowner willing to provide a broad corridor, allowing us to convert a large area of farmland into grassy woodland.”

Planting will take place between June and August 2021.

Windermere Ward councillor Kylie Grzybek said the project would help protect a unique and special part of the Greater Geelong region and added “The You Yangs and surrounds are home to many precious and endangered native plants and animals, and it’s just so important that we do what we can to help them survive and thrive into the future.

“The Koala Clancy Foundation is doing great work and the Council is glad to be offering support via this grant.”

Fellow Windermere Ward councillor Anthony Aitken said the initiative would contribute to both the environmental and financial sustainability of Greater Geelong’s north and remarked “this will attract more visitors to the northern part of our region, supporting local employment and helping to increase understanding about the importance of protecting our natural environment.”

Property owners Michael and Anne Smith said they had no hesitation in providing their farmland for the project.

Smith enthused “we are delighted that Koala Clancy is committed to the region and planting a few thousand trees to help restore this land, and council’s grant enables the project.

“They say the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, so the sooner we take this step the better.”

The Koala Clancy Foundation has already planted around 16,500 trees at 11 sites across Greater Geelong since 2016.

For more information about the foundation, including details of tree planting days, visit

The grant was among 120 awarded by the Council on 15th December under the first round of its 2020-21 Community Grants program, totalling $567,000 in value.

Grants were awarded under four separate categories, funding environmental sustainability projects, equipment purchases, arts projects and festivals, and community events.

Applications of up to $350,000 under the $3 million Community Infrastructure grants stream are being assessed and will be awarded in February.

Image: L-R front row: Koala Clancy Foundation President Janine Duffy with property owners Michael and Anne Smith. L-R back row: Cr Kylie Grzybek, Koala Clancy Foundation Treasurer Roger Smith and Cr Anthony Aitken. Courtesy of City of Greater Geelong 

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3rd August 2020 - Australian Reptile Park announces successful koala breeding season

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8th December 2019 - Queensland Government announces new plans to protect koalas

16th November 2019 - Taronga Conservation calls for urgent funding to address emerging koala crisis

26th February 2019 - NSW Government to boost Koala population and improve national park access

11th December 2018 - Improved mapping leads to better outcomes for koala habitat

7th September 2018 - Land clearance to cause Koala extinction in NSW by 2050

18th July 2018 - Gold Coast City Council looks to boost local koala habitat

14th July 2018 - World-class koala research facility operational at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

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7th May 2018 - NSW Government announces koala reserves in attempt to reverse declining populations

25th February 2018 - Australian imaging company supports Koala Plantation Fund

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14th February 2017 - Dreamworld backs koala conservation with new breeding program

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