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Between late 2019 and early 2022, Mid North Coast Correctional Centre inmates and local volunteers will plant more than 19 hectares of new forest on the grounds of the prison. This will offset the 7.1 hectares removed to make way for the recent expansion of the centre.
Three-quarters of the new trees planted will be species known to provide food for koalas, including tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys), forest red gum (E. tereticornis) and swamp mahogany (E. robusta).
We are using an ‘intensive nurture’ planting program developed in consultation with Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. This will minimise water consumption and increase the survival rate for new trees. Trees will be placed in areas where they will not affect the security of the centre.
As the trees mature, leaves will be harvested to provide fodder for koala rehabilitation programs.
Koala in a forest red gum tree. Image: John Turbill/DPIE