Port Stephens Koalas has urged motorists to be on the lookout with no less than five of the mammals struck over the weekend.
Two koalas were seriously injured – one of them undergoing surgery on Monday morning – while another three were killed.
“It’s been a pretty bad weekend,” care and rescue coordinator Simone Aurino said.
“It’s horrible but we’ve been lucky that people have stopped and assisted us.
“Nelson Bay police helped us with two of those and it’s lovely we’ve got the community onside.”
The strikes occurred on Nelson Bay Road, Port Stephens Drive and Clarence Town Road (Seaham).
Mrs Aurino said Port Stephens Drive was the usual suspect.
“We had only released a koala on Saturday that had previously been hit there,” she said.
“It had been in rehabilitation for three weeks. Luckily it wasn’t among those injured over the weekend.”
Volunteers have reported that koalas have become active in recent days as they begin to shake off the cooler weather.
“The message for motorists is that breading season has begun early so they’re on the move,” Mrs Aurino said.
“If you see a koala injured don’t delay in calling us. Early intervention is the key.”
Mrs Aurino urged motorists to store the 24 hour rescue number 0418 628 483 in their phones.
“If you hit a koala it can be very stressful and difficult to find the number,” she said.
“This is especially the case at night but people can call us 24 hours.”
The koala strikes come amid planning for a koala sanctuary at One Mile. But Ms Aurino said a hospital alone wasn’t enough.
“We need to be mindful of the destruction of their habitat,” she said.
“This will keep happening until we address it.”
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington echoed the call for habitat preservation.
She’s renewed her call for the state government to buy back the six hectares of land it sold “by mistake” overlapping the Mambo Wetlands.
"The NSW Minister for the Environment talks a lot about the importance of koalas, but there is no practical support on the ground,” Ms Washington said.
“Instead, the government is making matters worse by selling off core koala habitat.
"I again urge the minister to buy back the Mambo Wetlands to prevent the further decline of our local koala population.”
The buyer, Maitland aged care developer Phil Unicomb, was in recent weeks said to be in discussions to develop the site.