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Byron Shire
June 9, 2023

Baird’s ‘koala extermination program’ condemned

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Kevina from near Alstonville. NSW koalas both on public and private land are threated with extinction under new legislation NEFA says. (photo by Rob McIntyre)
Kevina from near Alstonville. NSW koalas both on public and private land are threated with extinction under new legislation NEFA says. (photo by Rob McIntyre)

‘Stand up for koalas or they won’t survive in the wild’ is the warning call from the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).

‘The NSW Government is carrying out a koala extermination program. It really can’t be seen as anything else. It is gutting protections for koalas in all the relevant legislation’ said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

Mr Pugh was speaking out after the state government’s contentious Biodiversity Conservation bill passed parliament last week.

‘On Thursday Premier Baird opened up an estimated 2.2 million hectares of identified koala habitat on private land for clearing under his new ‘equity codes’. Although there is clearly no ‘equity’ for koalas.

Mr Pugh said the new act removed protection for endangered populations of koalas that live between the Tweed and Brunswick Rivers, among others.

‘These populations have… been identified by the NSW Scientific Committee as being in imminent danger of becoming extinct,’ he said.

‘This follows earlier announcements by the Baird government that next year it intends to remove requirements for the Forestry Corporation to look for koalas before they log, and protect Koala High Use Areas on public land.

‘Baird’s latest nail in the koala’s coffin was announced on Friday. He now intends to gut the 20 year old ‘State Environmental Planning Policy No 44 – Koala Habitat Protection’ (SEPP 44) to simplify approvals for developers,’ Mr Pugh said.

‘Baird’s executioner is planning minister Rob Stokes. He intends to remove the need for developers to prepare site specific Koala Plans of Management, weaken the definition of core koala habitat and remove the need for councils to zone core koala habitat for protection in their Local Environment Plans.

‘These changes make it clear that it is a deliberate, co-ordinated and comprehensive attack on the very survival of koalas’.

‘Over the 20 years from 1990 to 2010 koala populations in NSW are estimated to have declined by 33 per cent. Koala populations are crashing throughout the state. As a result of premier Baird’s comprehensive removal of koala protections it is unlikely that NSW’s koalas will survive the next 20 years in the wild. It is a government program for extermination’ Mr. Pugh said.

NEFA is calling on people who want protections for koalas strengthened rather than weakened to make a submission at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Koala-habitat or call the premier’s office on (02) 8574 5000’.

‘Saving the wild koalas of NSW will require a massive public outcry, as koalas on rural lands have already lost most of their protections, and the onslaught will continue next year when the public land changes take effect, and protections for urban koala populations are slashed,’ Mr Pugh said.


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  1. I would love to know just what Baird has against Koala’s and his reason for progressing the imminent distinction of one of Australia’s most iconic animals! It doesn’t make sense..mines on agricultural land, and clearing vital habitat for agriculture! So angry with this government, they show no regard whatsoever for OUR ( all Australians ) environment, hope his government crashes and burns, just like the environment he is destroying..NOT HAPPY!!

  2. No it’s a really sad thing to even think off.
    All they care about is money and power and they don’t care who they run over on the way ,these men are not young ,they are on borrowed time on this planet as we all are,is this the Legacy they would like to leave behind,that they killed thousands of koalas so they could make money because that’s all it comes down to greed.
    These little beings have every right to live and be left alone.
    Mankind is a virus,it spreads and spreads till one day it’s to late and they can’t go back and change anything.
    People cannot let this happen,they just can’t .

  3. Mike Baird, you are an absolute disgrace for the Australian wildlife as the Minister for the Environment or really the Minister for the Absolute Destruction of the Australian Environment & Wildlife!! Also for your agreement for more bushland clearing, you should be ashamed, how can you sleep at night knowing that your own children may not seen the beautiful wild life we are seeing now with what you are doing your children and the next generation may not see the beauty our generation has seen!!

    I will like a response to my message!!!!

  4. You can contact the Premier via the new.gov.au website and demand explanations. Keep pushing it tho. DON”T let them just consign your concerns to the trash

  5. This is outrageous! SO, it’s all about money making, because that is ALL that is being focussed on here, at the expense of the lives of Koalas, who are already endangered, Mike Baird! You have to be kidding, right???? Ok then, what about the Tourist dollar! Thousands International visitors want to see our Koalas in their natural habitat, and pay to do so. Koalas are important to the Tourist Industry and our economy. If ALL you can focus on us MONEY MAKING, & have no care for anything else, think about THAT then!!

  6. The problem here is not just Mike Baird but the Nationals party farmers who hate koalas – they are just in the way of them being able to clear land, fell trees. This law started because of that 79 yr old farmer Ian Turnbull at Croppa Creek NSW who shot and killed a ranger who was investigating illegal clearing on his land. He got 35 years in jail.
    Just goes to show how much power these farmers have. Instead of making laws tougher on farmers who refuse to obey laws, this government caves in and relaxes the laws because they know how frustrated these red necked farmers are with having to obey laws.
    The problem goes even deeper when you consider that there is a basic flaw with the concept of land ownership. When people ‘own’ land (as if you ever could …. really) they often think that no other creatures have the right to be there without their permission. Instead it should be that you are purchasing the rights to live on the land respectfully with all the other creatures who were there before you.
    Unfortunately in Australia we don’t seem to love our native animals much. Often they are regarded as ‘pests’ (possums, kangaroos, wombats, flying foxes, corellas and so on). We never reflect on the fact that based on how much damage we have done to the environment, we humans are the biggest pest of all.


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