NSW Greens MP and koala protection spokesperson, Dawn Walker, has organised a community forum to raise awareness about the plight of NSW’s koalas at Lismore Workers Club next Tuesday (May 8).
Speakers will include: Sue Higginson, former NSW CEO of EDO (Environmental Defenders Office); koala expert Dr Steve Phillips; and Ros Irwin from Lismore Friends of the Koala.
It will also include a short film about the current fate of koalas produced by Dawn Walker herself.
Ms Walker said that in the last 20 years, wild koala populations have halved on the NSW North Coast and are plummeting across the rest of NSW.
‘From reckless forest logging, highway expansion and land clearing, our koalas are suffering across the state,’ she added.
‘Despite the looming koala crises, the NSW Liberal-National Government continues to do nothing as wild koalas hurtle towards extinction and they ignore solutions like ending native forest logging, tightening land clearing laws and establishing more koala reserves, including a Great Koala National Park near Coffs Harbour.
‘It’s time to act and that’s why we are organising this forum to raise awareness in the community and promote solutions to ensure that wild koalas in NSW don’t go the way of the Tasmanian Tiger’ said Dawn Walker, Greens MP.
Sue Higginson’s talk will focus on the NSW Government’s recent weakening of land clearing laws across the State.
‘The NSW Government’s decision to loosen land clearing laws will unleash an epidemic of clearing across regional NSW, destroying our precious biodiversity in the process.’ Ms Higginson said.
The Government’s own experts have warned 99 per cent of koala habitat on private land is left exposed to land clearing by these laws and that there would be a spike in tree loss.
‘These land clearing laws are from the dark ages. They are contrary to science and they do not reflect what communities all over NSW want – healthy woodlands and healthy koalas,’ she said.
The Lismore Koala Crisis Forum will be held at the Lismore Workers Club from 5:30 – 7:30pm on Tuesday May 8.