$7.5 million for north shore animal crossing but still nothing for Campbelltown

Overpass: An artist's impression of an animal overpass that will be build along Mona Vale Road West. Picture: NSW Government
Overpass: An artist's impression of an animal overpass that will be build along Mona Vale Road West. Picture: NSW Government

“If it’s good enough for the north shore, it’s good enough for Campbelltown”.

That’s was the sentiment from Campbelltown MP Greg Warren after it was announced that a $7.5 million animal crossing overpass would be built along Mona Vale Road West.

Campbelltown Council has been pushing for similar crossings along Appin Road – writing to the state government for “urgent” funding to build the structures last year.

However, the requests were ignored.

Campbelltown’s koala colony is particularly important given it’s the only population that’s chlamydia-free.

Mr Warren said if the money could be found for a project in Sydney’s north, then funds should be provided to build the overpasses in Campbelltown.

“I don’t want to take anything away from the good people on the north shore, but if it’s good enough them, it’s good enough for Campbelltown,” he said.

“It (the Mona Vale Road West overpass) shows the government acknowledges the importance of koala preservation. Campbelltown is as deserving as anywhere else in terms of an overpass.

“I believe we should be given a higher priority.”

One of the koalas killed on Appin Road. Picture: Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown

One of the koalas killed on Appin Road. Picture: Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown

Local WIRES volunteer Ricardo Lonza, who also runs Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown, said two koalas had been killed on Appin Road in just the past week.

He didn’t understand why the safety of Campbelltown’s koalas was constantly ignored.

“They were killed right near the Mount Gilead development (site),” he said.

“It’s a known corridor where koalas move from A to B – the Nepean River to the Georges River.

“All wildlife should be saved but Campbelltown’s colony are the only disease-free koalas and there’s been a lot of koalas lost on Appin Road.

“I get very emotional when I pull a dead body off the road. It’s heartbreaking and it doesn’t get any easier.”

Wollondilly councillor Michael Banasik has echoed Campbelltown Council’s calls for urgent funding for the crossings on Appin Road, Picton Road and the Hume Highway.

Cr Banasik will ask Wollondilly Council to follow Campbelltown’s lead and ask the state government for urgent funding. 

“The message is getting through to the state government but sadly we haven’t seen it on the ground – there has been no action,” he said.

“We just need to keep lobbying.

“I have to commend the environmental groups like WIRES that are trying to save the koalas – all we do at council is try to back them up.

“I wish we had a bucket of money so we could get the crossings built in the next month or two.”

The 40-metre Mona Vale Road West overpass will link Ku-ring-gai and Garigal National Parks.

Fauna exclusion fencing will prevent the animals crossing elsewhere.