Wollondilly councillor calls for critter crossings to prevent koala deaths

Picton and Appin Roads have become the koala kill hotspots in Macarthur as the local native animals attempt to cross the increasingly busy roadways.

In order to prevent koala deaths the RMS installed koala fencing and animal underpasses along Picton Road last year.

Now one Wollondilly Councillor is calling for more 'critter crossings' to be installed along Appin Road.

Councillor Michael Banasik will raise the issue at Monday's council meeting.

He said the protection of Macarthur's koala population was of the utmost importance.

"I put a post on Facebook the other week and there was a lot of positive feedback about the koala fencing along Picton Road," Cr Banasik said.

"However some people were concerned about koalas being trapped behind fencing.

"More people wanted overpasses or underpasses so that the animals could cross the road safely."

Cr Banasik will ask the council to urge the RMS to build crossings and koala fencing along Appin Road.

"I think the fencing idea has been in the works along Appin Road for a while but I am not sure on the timeline," he said.

"Underpasess or an overpass like the one on the Pacific Highway should be built at the same time.

"Underpasses might be more difficult as Appin Road is flat, not like Picton Road which already has some natural gullies."

Last year they requested funds from the state government to construct the crossings pronto, to reduce the number of koalas being killed on the road.

Councillor Karen Hunt told the Advertiser at the time she was "losing her patience waiting" for something to be done regarding animal crossings on the notorious stretch of road.

"They (the state government) are taking their time," she said.

"We called for an urgent approach but they just ignored it.

"They are all gung-ho to develop down there but won't do anything to help improve the (safety) situation on Appin Road.

"It's not only to protect the disease free colony of koalas, but also humans (driving along the road).

"Everyone says the road is dangerous but no one is doing anything."

Cr Banasik agreed that something needed to be done as soon as possible.

"There are going to be housing developments built in Appin - on the Campbelltown side mostly, but Wollondilly too in the distant future," he said.

"Koala breeding season starts in a couple of months so it will be interesting to see if the statistics for Picton Road change with the new fencing.

"I think fencing - and overpasses or underpasses - will go a long way to prevent koala deaths."