NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker has lashed out in state parliament at the government’s failure to deliver a state-wide koala strategy, accusing Liberal Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton of ‘incompetence or gross negligence’.
Ms Walker accused the Berejiklian government of creating ‘a koala crisis across NSW as a result of their rampart logging and land clearing agenda’.
‘They have promised to develop a whole-of-government koala strategy, but 12 months after public submissions closed, they have still produced nothing,’ she said.
‘Koala populations in NSW are under increasing pressure and have crashed by an estimated 26 per cent over the past 15 to 20 years with their best habitat targeted for intensive logging, clearing and development.
‘Without active intervention by this government, this level of decline will continue with some predicting wild koalas will go extinct by 2040.
‘The NSW Environment Minister is missing in action and appears either incompetent or grossly-negligent when it comes to protecting NSW’s precious koalas.
She called on the state government to ‘immediately make public the submissions that were received during the consultation period for their koala strategy,’ which ended a year ago, and to ‘explain why there has been this unacceptable delay in delivering [it]’.
‘While the Liberal-National government continue to sit on their hands, the Greens will keep advocating for better protections for NSW’s wild koalas, including for the immediate creation of a Great Koala National Park that would protect core koala habitat from logging on the Mid North Coast.
‘We must ensure that wild koalas in NSW don’t go the way of the Tasmanian Tiger and become extinct’ said Ms Walker said.