THE Myall Koala and Environmental Group Inc is set to receive its biggest grant ever of $234,500 for the regeneration of key koala habitat.
The grant announced by Poert Stephens MP Craig Baumann last week is part of an $8 million NSW Government program to fix degraded natural bushland sites.
The group will focus on weed eradication and community education on a 32 hectare site linking Yacaaba headland to Hawks Nest village and Myall Lakes National Park.
Secretary of the group Ian Morphett said he was ecstatic when he learnt of the news last week.
Mr Morphett said the area where the project targets contains significant habitat for the endangered koala population and is culturally significant to the Worimi people.
The project will play out over a six year period and will engage community volunteers and members of the nearby Aboriginal community.
Mr Morphett said the native weeds that invade this bushland stop the growth of native habit and prevent movement of the koalas. The group has been working on a Koala Recovery Plan since the animals were listed as endangered in the Hawks Nest area in 2003. In 2003 the koala population in the area was decreasing but the work of the group has seen to koala population grow from 12 to 20.
"We hope this work will further increase the numbers," he said.
Work funded by the grant is set to get under way next month. Mr Morphett said the group wished to extend itsthanks to Great Lakes Council and its help in preparing the grant application. The council will also act as the administrator of the funds.