New tools in the fight to save the iconic koala

17 August 2023

The Albanese Labor Government is investing $750,000 to better protect the health of our iconic koala.

This funding will support the Queensland University of Technology in developing new ways to administer a vaccine to fight chlamydia in koalas.

Chlamydia is a significant and widespread threat to the koala, impacting their reproductive health and causing infertility.

This project will trial a new vaccine implant which would allow for koalas to receive their ‘booster’ dose of vaccine via the implant. If successful, this would avoid the requirement for koalas to be held for long periods or recaptured to receive their second dose.

The Queensland University of Technology will conduct the trial in partnership with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Currumbin staff being trained in how to implant the device.

Sadly, koalas are currently listed as endangered in Queensland, NSW and the ACT. This investment is part of the Government’s more than $76 million Saving Koalas Fund to support the recovery and long-term conservation of the koala and its habitats.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek:

“No-one wants to imagine an Australia without the koalas. The Australian Government is making sure our kids and grandkids will still be able to see koalas in the wild.

“Investing in koala health projects, like this vaccine implant being developed at the Queensland University of Technology, will play a crucial role in protecting and conserving this beloved animal.

“Through our Saving Koalas Fund, we are investing in projects that will help koalas not only survive— but thrive."