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Byron Shire
January 28, 2021

Koala report a gamechanger for habitat protection

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Images of injured, dead and dying koalas from last summer’s apocalyptic fires, can’t be unseen. Are we doing enough to protect what is left of this dwindling species?

A report from the NSW Upper House Inquiry into the State’s Koala Populations and their Habitat, released today after a year-long Inquiry, must be a gamechanger for the government to protect more koala habitat if they don’t want to see the koala become extinct before 2050, says Committee Chair and Greens MP Cate Faehrmann.

‘This report must be a gamechanger for koalas and the protection of their habitat in NSW. What became crystal clear during this Inquiry was that without urgent government intervention the koala will become extinct in NSW before 2050,’ said Ms Faehrmann.

Habitat loss and fragmentation the biggest threat

‘The report found that habitat loss and fragmentation was the biggest threat to koalas, yet at every turn we were handed evidence that showed our current laws are inadequate and facilitating the clearing of core koala habitat.

‘The strategies and policies currently in place to protect the koala aren’t working, like the NSW Koala Strategy which fails in ensuring enough koala habitat is protected for the different koala populations across the state.

‘There must be a significant increase in koala habitat protected from logging, mining, land clearing and urban development. The government needs to incentivise farmers so they’re paid more to protect trees on their land instead of clearing them and overhaul the failed biodiversity offsetting scheme which allows core koala habitat to be cleared.

‘There are two proposed new national parks put forward by the committee for the government to investigate to protect some koala populations from immediate threats. They are the Georges River National Park in Sydney’s South West and the Great Koala National Park on the mid-north coast.

‘Climate change, which exacerbated the drought and the recent devastating bushfires is a significant threat to koalas. The committee recommends that the Government factor in climate change as a key consideration in the drafting of all relevant legislation and planning strategies and ensure climate change mitigation is a core component of all strategies to save the koala in New South Wales.

‘It was heartening to have members from all sides of politics working together on a shared mission to come up with recommendations that would go to the government in order to save the koala in NSW. Bar a couple of findings that were particularly critical of the government’s koala strategy, I see this as a consensus report for the government to urgently act upon,’ said Ms Faehrmann.

North Coast & Mid North Coast

‘This report has demonstrated beyond doubt that decades of logging in public native forests has had a devastating impact on koalas and their habitat.  

‘The government must immediately identify and protect koala populations and habitat in the wake of this apocalyptic bushfire season. 

‘The committee has proposed that the government investigate the establishment of the Great Koala National Park. I urge the government to do this without delay. The committee heard compelling evidence that the park would protect large areas of core koala habitat while creating a globally significant tourist attraction.’ 

North west NSW 

‘The committee recommends that the government ensures the protection of the koala colony and habitat on the proposed Shenhua Water coal mine site before allowing any further development at the Shenhua Watermark. I heard enough evidence to suggest that the project is incompatible with the future existence of the local koala population.

‘Shenhua’s proposed translocation of the koala population is also an absurd idea which the method found to be unproven by the committee. The committee also called for an overhaul of biodiversity offsetting which has seen coal mine projects able to clear core koala habitat by “offsetting” this loss with supposed koala habitat in other parts of the state’.

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  1. Praise the Goddess for Kate Faehrmann (Greens) who has done her very best battling for yrs to get Koala habitat protected. We went to the Hearings in Ballina when Kate was Chair & EVEN the LNP couldn’t dispute the testimonies of scientists/ environmentalists & wildlife carers, crying out for urgent protection of ‘remaining’ Koala habitat. FOR MANY DECADES THE SAME WONDERFUL & SORRY BAND OF MEN & WOMEN have been pleading for change & opposing the forces of evil.The usual forces of darkness were not listening …Koalas don’t vote & don’t have a MasterCard in their pouch. The LNP has no desire to save Koalas from mining/loggers or farmers who value the almighty dollar OVER our declining wildlife. Our political system is broken (Shock horror I know ) and until we get a massive awakening from the general public (who are generally asleep at the wheel) & they care enough to ACT , we will lose our beloved Koalas & all the other precious wildlife people say they care about but don’t ACT.

  2. After the holocaust of 2019, there can be NO excuse for any clearing of native forest.
    Is that so hard to understand ?
    In fact, a lot of the Global Warming responsible for these devastating conditions is precisely as a result of forest clearing and loss of carbon sequestration. As the custodians of this amazing and utterly unique remnent of Gondwana, how can we let any more be destroyed ?
    Cheers, G”)

  3. Blame the voters. They see what is happening but keep voting The LNP that continues on with business as usual destroying the environment in pursuit of the almighty $’s. I guess a few surviving Koalas in a Zoo somewhere to be petted and selfied by the punters is all good with The LNP and the punters that keep on voting for The LNP. Why bother wasting space with millions of hectares of forests for koalas in the wild when you can just roll up at a Zoo and spot a Koala on a tree stump with a few bits of greenery hanging off it.

  4. Local urban development destroying Koala feed trees, and destroying Koala movement corridor around the Cumbebin Nature Reserve – the Byron Bay Bypass.
    Byron’s potential Koalas extinction bought to you by the Byron Greens. Byron Labour and in complicity with the Nats Kevin Hogan.
    But what can be built, can be demolished and revegetated, by the next Byron Shire group of Councillors. Whatever the dubious benefit for traffic, the bypass site has (unfortunately belatedly) proved that it is/was/can-be-again excellent habitat and wildlife corridor, and with the wildlife extinction crisis and its carbon capture, should be again restored to native vegetation.. Bulldoze the Bypass!!! – Next potential candidates for the Council election next year – get on board and restore the bypass area for the wildlife and greenhouse gas reduction. we have a planet and all its species to save.

  5. “But what can be built, can be demolished and revegetated, ” yeah, but not in our lifetime John.
    ……….and certainly not in a time frame that will feed a starving Koala.
    Just sayin. G”)


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