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Byron Shire
October 20, 2021

80 pc support urgent koala legislation: poll

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A nationwide IPSOS poll has revealed 80 per cent of people support urgent legislation to protect koalas. Photo supplied.

A national IPSOS poll commissioned by Australians for Animals has revealed a high level of concern in the electorate over the future of koalas, with almost 80 per cent of people supporting ‘the urgent introduction of legislation to protect koala habitat in NSW and QLD’.

Support was highest among 18- to 29-year-olds (80.4 per cent) but remained in at least the high 70s across both sexes and all demographics with the sole exception of unskilled laborers. Even in this group, support was close to two-thirds of respondents.

In rural NSW support was particularly high, with 84.6 per cent of respondents in favour.

But significantly fewer people saw it as a major election issue.

When asked whether federal and state governments’ current koala policies would impact how they voted, just 16.1 per cent said it would, while almost half (47.2 per cent) said it would not.

In a ray of hope for koala campaigners, more than a third (36.6 per cent) were still undecided.

Policy of extinction

During its current term of office, the NSW government repealed the Threatened Species Act and the Native Vegetation Act, ‘effectively removing the slim protections available to save koalas and their habitat’, according to Australians for Animals.

The group describes its replacements, the Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Local Land Services Act as ‘a green light for developers with no protection of habitat and no provisions for legal challenges’.

Spokesperson Sue Arnold told Echonetdaily, ‘The NSW government has adopted a policy of extinction for koalas’.

‘Any detailed examination of the steps taken by the Berejiklian government demonstrates a complete failure to undertake the most basic environmental protection – legislation to protect habitat.

‘Koalas are facing a perfect storm of threats including: climate change; drought; heatwaves; unchecked, exponentially increasing development; Regional Forest agreements targeting high koala use areas; and a government with an appalling dedication to spin,’ Ms Arnold said.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. A report compiled by the World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservation Council reveals that the rate of land clearing in northern NSW has more than tripled after the Berejiklian government eased native vegetation protection in 2017 to the rate of about 14 football fields of koala habitat per day.

    According to the NCC nature in NSW is in crisis. The new laws allow for devastating deforestation and clearing of important wildlife habitat. At least 1000 species of plants and animals are facing extinction, and the destruction of their habitats is the leading threat. As a result of these new laws, 99% of identified koala habitat on private land can be bulldozed.

    In 2016 our Tweed Coast local koala population was listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ by the NSW Scientific Committee, ie at a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Koala experts are saying that on the current trajectory koalas will be extinct in NSW by 2050.

    The Greens have a long and proud history of standing up for our environment. More than ever we need increased Greens representation in parliament to legislate for stronger environmental laws to protect our threatened koalas, other native species and their habitat.

    Greens state candidate Bill Fenelon is fully committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that our precious Australian icon survives and thrives into the future.

  2. Unfortunately, the conservative NSW government simply doesn’t care, particularly the dinosaurs of the National Party. They are wed to vested interests in the logging, agriculture, and property development industries, who don’t care about nature, only profit.

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