Park a win for Campbelltown's koalas

SUNDAY'S announcement of a Dharawal National Park was also a major win for Campbelltown's koala population which uses O'Hare's Creek gorge in the park as a shelter from bushfires.

University of Western Sydney koala expert Robert Close said the announcement gave local koala colonies a much greater chance of long-term survival.

"I think this will allow our koalas to survive here, probably forever," said the Advertiser columnist.

Dr Close said he first noticed the importance of the gorge when he found one of the radio-collared male koalas sheltering in the caves there on a very hot day.

"I believe the gorge is the place where koalas will survive bushfires — and by surviving bushfires, there's always going to be recovery. The cliffs, the gorges and the caves give the koalas a place to hide and the actual way the gorge burns is very spasmodic, so you get little fingers of flames."