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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

Kids for koalas in Byron

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Aslan Shand

‘We should stop destroying koala land because it’s alive like us.’ Bodhi 7

This morning saw around 50 kids from the Byron Community Primary School up to the age of nine out in Byron making their voices heard in support of koalas.

‘We should look after koala habitat because they need a home just like us,’ said Mimi, aged 7. This was supported by Tommy, aged 8, who said ‘koalas need trees to live and the trees also clean the air for us!’

It is these clear points from children that remind us that at the heart of the debate on koalas and their habitat. It is a simple desire to ensure that they don’t become extinct and have places to live and thrive.

‘I think it’s important that we do not cut down eucalyptus trees because that’s the only habitat they can live in.’ Willow 7

50 kids from the Byron Community Primary School up to the age of nine were making their voices heard in support of koalas. Photo Saul Goodwin.

The kids worked with Bangalow Koalas to show their support for safeguarding the koalas and their habitat by objecting to the NSW government’s Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020 currently awaiting a final vote in the NSW Upper House.

‘Save the koalas or we won’t be able to see them anymore!’ Xanthe 8

‘If koalas all die out in Australia you can’t find them anywhere else in the world,’ pointed out Florence, aged 8.

Bangalow Koalas are one of the many groups who have condemned the controversial bill.

‘How do you feel when you see a Koala, excited or bored?’ Jett 8

The bill removes further protections for koalas and ‘is a massive step backwards for koala protection in NSW especially in light of the devastating drought and bush fire season of 2019/2020 which has already placed the surviving koala population under immense pressure,’ said Linda Sparrow, president of Bangalow Koalas.

‘If we don’t help them now our grandchildren won’t be able to see koalas like we can.’ Adelie 7

‘We should start replanting the trees that have been cut down so that Koalas have more places to live, especially after the bushfires,’ says Orlando, aged 7.

However, the NSW Liberal–National government appear to be intent, not on planting and protecting more trees, but passing a bill that will ‘double the duration of private forestry operations (PFO) from 15 to 30 years,’ says Ms Sparrow.

‘They’re too special to become extinct.’ Isla 8

‘It will freeze the amount of koala habitat that can be protected in Comprehensive Koala Plans of management (KPOMs), meaning that over 99 per cent of koala habitat on private land in NSW will never have protection and allow more clearing to take place in environmental zones – undermining the protections offered by E-zones.

‘Koalas are native to Australia and we don’t want them to go away.’ Indiana 8

‘This bill is designed to benefit developers and agri-business, without any consideration for the value of our forests and the incredible biodiversity they support.

‘If we do not protect koala habitat and stop the logging of native forests there simply will be no future for our koalas,’ she said.

‘What would the kids of Australia think if koalas go extinct?’ Freddie 8

‘We urge people to email members of the Legislative Council in the Upper House and voice your concern now.’

Below is a draft version that can be personalised, and click here for the email addresses to members of Upper House.

‘If we don’t protect the koalas they might go extinct.’ Anja 7

 


Draft letter

Dear Member of the Legislative Council,

I am writing to ask you to vote against the Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill because it puts the future of our koala populations in jeopardy.

The government has stated it wants to save koalas from extinction, even double their numbers over the next 30 years, but this bill pushes them closer to the brink.

In 2017, the Office of Environment and Heritage advised the Environment Minister that less than 1% of koala habitat on private land was protected, and recommended the government “exclude additional core koala habitat” from clearing.

The LLS Amendment Bill before parliament would freeze protected koala habitat. Meaning that over 99% of koala habitat on private land in NSW will never have protection.

Under current rules, if councils identify core koala habitat, after a process of consultation and approval, this land can be protected from clearing and logging. This bill undermines that process.

Tens of thousands of koalas perished in the Black Summer bushfires. Now is not the time to take a step backwards on the protection of koala habitat.

Please reject this bill and ensure koalas continue to have a home in our state.

‘They’re too special to become extinct.’ Isla 8

‘They are an Australian icon, people come to Australia to see them.’ Violet 9

‘They are special and unique.’ Maddie 9


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6 COMMENTS

    • ‘Honest Gladys’ and her offsider ‘Tree Rats Barilaro’ should resign and hand over affairs to the school kiddies from Delungra Public School and Byron Community Primary School – the school kiddies should be the joint and sole authority on all matters affecting Koala. When that happens Koalas will not only have a chance to survive but also to thrive in the wild.

  1. Thanks ” Echo” for such a comprehensive & wonderful coverage of our Koala demo today with the kids at Byron COMMUNITY Primary School. Those kids are soooooo lucky to be at that school & to be surrounded by such dedicated /kind and warm hearted teachers. The children actually said they wanted to do something ” to Save Koalas” , so we ( Bangalow Koalas) got involved, put on our Koala ears and gathered our placards & organised a local community media event. So inspiring to see how informed these children are & especially comforting to see how deeply they care about our precious but diminishing Koalas. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE everyone reading this ……email/ph senators in the NSW Upper House (MLC’s ) and ask them to REJECT THE SEPP ( state planning ) amendments capitulated by the Liberals to placate the Nationals.This Bill will Kill Blinky…KILL THE BILL NOT BLINKY BILL.

  2. Let us hope that this Bill is successful. Who needs double dealing Politicians. This is such an insult to all sentient beings. Time to pack your bags Gladys and move on with all of your Nats OUT of the Parliament. Non have respect for life.

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