15.8 C
Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Govt must deliver Koala Strategy: Opposition

Latest News

Byron Wildlife Hospital’s DA up for public comment

A development application for the mobile Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is now before the public.

Other News

Suffolk Park pump track for Cavanbah

Kathy Gleeson, Suffolk Park When I first heard of, and supported, the pump track at the Linda Vidler Park in Suffolk...

The amazing world of seeds

Hilary Bain If it wasn’t for seeds and plants, we humans, along with all the animals, birds and insects would...

Rapey Liberal culture is their undoing

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ steel-eyed testimony around rape allegations saw spiders crawl from under rocks and spread in all directions last week. 

‘Groundhog Day’ shifts Splendour to November

Splendour in the Grass 2021 organisers say that Groundhog Day jokes aside, the festival will be rescheduled for a late spring edition, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Surveys show people in Lismore and Ballina want greater protection for koalas.

The Ballina upgrade of the Pacific Highway through core koala habitat has been listed as one of many reasons the iconic species appears doomed if the NSW Government fails to deliver its long-awaited Koala Strategy.

The NSW opposition has called on the government to release the strategy, saying the state had been without a strategy for five years.

Scientists have warned that on current trends the iconic koala is on track for extinction in NSW by 2055. The previous plan, the NSW Koala Recovery Plan that was developed under the previous Labor government, lapsed in 2013, and last week marked one year since consultation closed for a proposed replacement strategy.

The Government’s own 2016 report from the NSW Chief Scientist found that the state’s koala population has dropped by a quarter over the last 20 years, down from a population of millions at the time of European settlement. The state is now home to fewer than ten percent of the nation’s koalas, with just 36,000 remaining in the wild.

Similarly, last year WWF-Australia reported that koala numbers in the Pilliga have dropped by a staggering 80 per cent since the 1990s; in the south-east, there are thought to be fewer than 60 koalas left; while west of the Great Dividing Range, 90 per cent of known populations are in decline.

Since 2011 the NSW Government has done more to harm koalas than save them, including:

* Introducing land clearing laws that could see eight million hectares of core koala habitat destroyed;
* Signing off on clearing codes that will only protect one per cent of koala habitat from land clearing;
* Selling off core koala habitat to developers for $250,000 at the Mambo Wetlands in Port Stephens;
* Directing the route of the Pacific Highway Upgrade at Ballina through core koala habitat;
* Refusing to support the Great Koala National Park, instead calling it “a political gimmick”;
* Allowing housing development in core koala habitat in the Macarthur region and including the upgrade of Picton Road without protections for the only chlamydia-free koala population in NSW;
* Carting off koalas in sacks from the Liverpool Plains to make way for the Shenhua coal mine; and
* Allowing logging operations that do not properly take into account koalas in state forests, with further weakening of the protections currently in place.

Labor’s Environment Shadow Minister Penny Sharpe said NSW needs a Koala Recovery Plan ‘and it needs one now’.

‘The Government hasn’t had a koala plan for five years, yet as the evidence mounts of koalas heading towards extinction, the Government sits on its hands and drives our koalas further towards extinction,’ Ms Sharpe said.

‘When future generations ask who killed off the koalas of New South Wales, the answer will be the Liberals and Nationals of the 2010s.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It is about time the governments got off their bums and did something to save our Koalas, we will have no wild life left the way things are going, it is always the almighty dollar that counts. WAKE UP before it is too late

  2. Scientists are predicting the looming extinction of koalas in NSW and Queensland within the next decade if not sooner. No one is predicting they will survive until 2055.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tweed Council staff’s delegated powers debated

The question of what staff and councillors get to decide in relation to development applications was raised by Tweed Councillor Ron Cooper at the last Tweed Shire Council meeting.

Supporting independent news or making fat cats fatter?

The recent skirmish between Facebook and the government is hard to miss, even if you rely on Facebook for your news. But what does it all mean?

Koala groups lobby Tweed MP Geoff Provest for action

Local koala groups have been taking action to protect NSW koalas by meeting with Tweed State Member of Parliament, Geoff Provest seeking his support for action on koala protections and asking him not to support the koala killing legislation his government are putting forward.

Leadership lost

Paul Leitch, Ewingsdale Thanks to Hans Lovejoy for commenting on the proposed Ewingsdale Development (24 February). It is worthwhile noting that with the absence of clear...