Koala research in the Hastings and Macleay will benefit from a $100,000 state government injection.
The funding will go towards the Koala Recovery Partnership's science-based survey of koala occupancy across the Port Macquarie and Kempsey area of regional koala significance.
The research includes tracking koala movements using specially trained dogs to sniff out scats on the ground as well as the use of acoustic monitoring devices to tap into koala calls.
Environment Minister Matt Kean and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams visited the research team, and koala detection dogs Max and Ash, on Thursday (January 21) at Lake Innes Nature Reserve.
The Koala Recovery Partnership is a joint venture between the state government, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Mid North Coast Joint Organisation and Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Shire councils.
Mr Kean said if we could better understand the movements and habitat of our koalas, we were better placed to protect them.
"f you want to protect koalas, you need to protect their habitat," he said.
"That's why we in NSW are determined to protect our habitat by increasing our national parks estate."
Mr Kean said the study, along with an increase in national parks, was part of the state government's plan to not only see koalas thrive into the future but see them double their population.
Mrs Williams said the funding announcement supported a really strong partnership.
"Any investment in understanding better our koalas, their movements and their habitat is really important to the people of the Port Macquarie electorate," she said.
Mrs Williams said the $100,000 funding boost was critical in continuing to understand our koala population.
The minister's visit comes in the same month as the government released its response to an Upper House inquiry into koala populations and habitat.
Koala advocates criticised the state government's response.
The government supported 11 recommendations, supported in principle another 17 recommendations and noted 14 recommendations.
Mr Kean described the koala inquiry as a "really important piece of work".
"I'm committed to the same goals to those on the koala inquiry and that is to see our koala population thrive into the future," he said.
Mr Kean added the chief scientist had been commissioned to look at the issues raised in the koala inquiry and the broader issues across NSW, and make recommendations to government that gave a concrete plan which would ensure we not only saw our koalas survive but thrive.
Mrs Williams said the $100,000 funding announcement made it very clear the state government was very much focused on doubling the koala population.
She said to to suggest this government wasn't doing enough was just wrong.
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