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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

From Byron to Sydney to Armidale #KoalaDayOfAction

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Where announcements masquerade as action

The great secret about government in Australia is this: no-one wants to know about government in Australia.

The Koala Killing Bill, as the NSW Liberal-National parties Koala State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) has become known, has now been released by the NSW coalition government and it is ‘a huge loss in the fight to save koalas from extinction in NSW,’ says local environmentalist, koala expert and OAM Dailan Pugh.

‘Koalas all over Byron Shire are under threat with the Nationals’ new plan to allow land clearing and logging just about everywhere,’ said Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey who is one of the organisers of the #SaveOurKoalas Byron event.

‘We’re working with a range of organisations to hold a statewide Day of Action to #SaveOurKoalas on Sunday, 21 March.’

The senate inquiry into koalas in 2020 led to 42 recommendations to help stop koalas from becoming extinct in NSW by 2050. However, after an outcry about the recommendations from the NSW National Party a new bill was drawn up that failed to pass through the NSW senate because Liberal MP Catherine Cusack crossed the floor and sent the bill to a committee. But the bill is back.

NSW Farmers concerned

While the NSW coalition continues to claim that they are removing ‘red tape’ for farmers and landholders in regional NSW the NSW Farmers Association have said they have concerns about the new Koala SEPP.

‘NSW Farmers is concerned by a lack of consultation with landholders around new koala regulations and what they will mean for farmers,’ the said in a recent press release.

NSW Farmers’ President James Jackson said it was disappointing the agreement made with the Premier last year to protect koalas and farms had been torn up.

‘NSW Farmers brought to the government’s attention the extensive problems with Koala SEPP 2019, a regulation that was meant to be originally designed to protect koalas from urban development but had serious consequences for farm productivity,’ Mr Jackson said.

‘The Deputy Premier has said the new SEPP cuts red tape for farmers but we have no concrete evidence that this is the case because farmers have not been consulted on the changes.

‘We’re calling on the government, in particular the Premier to ensure the new regulations won’t negatively impact farm businesses.’

Statewide action

The #Koala Day of Action will see a range of activites being held in Sydney and around the state this weekend to protest the new koala laws that will see the likely extinction of koalas by 2050 in NSW Cr Coorey told The Echo.

  • Murwillumbah: Saturday, 20 March at 10am at Knox Park
  • Lismore: Sunday, 21 March at 11am across the road from the Carboot Market on Brewster St beside Humbly Oval (near the recycling centre). Speakers include Cindy Roberts (Widjabul Wia-bal Woman), Dailan Pugh (NEFA), Janelle Saffin (ALP), Daisy Nutty (XR), Angella Pollard (AJP)
  • Byron Bay: Sunday, 21 March at 2 pm at the Peace Pole at the Main Beach car park. Speaker Dailan Pugh OAM (NEFA)
  • Clarence Valley: Sunday, 21 March at 12 noon. A nature walk and picnic lunch will be held at Shannon Creek Dam
  • Bulga Forest: Sunday, 21 March. Meet on the corner of Doyle’s River Rd and Bulga/Glenwarrin Rd. From there we will travel to French’s Creek Rd which is scheduled for logging later in the year to see if we can find evidence of koalas
  • Nambucca Heads: Sunday, 21 March at 8.30am. Meet at the Visitor Information Centre
  • Bellingen: Sunday, 21 March at 10.30am at  Lavenders Bridge
  • Armidale: Sunday, 21 March at 1pm. Meet at Edgar Street off Arundel Drive
  • Sydney: Sunday, 21 March at 11am. Meet at Hyde Park Sydney near the Archibald Fountain

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1 COMMENT

  1. Yet again we will be there….hopefully in massive numbers in an ongoing desperate attempt to protect Koalas. How sad & damn infuriating that ‘we’ the citizens have to fight Govt continually in order to get them to do the right thing. The only ‘happy chappies ‘ here are the farmers & Loggers. Thanks to the courageous & kind Catherine Cusack (local resident) the SEPP bill was defeated by her one vote last year , BUT the bad guys aren’t giving up. Their priority is money . THEY SURE AS HELL DON’T GIVE A TOSS ABOUT BLINKY & HIS FAMILY. However, many Australians DO passionately care about our Koalas & all other long suffering & unappreciated wildlife. Until people get politically active & become ecologically literate, this sad situation for untold voiceless creatures will not change. Turn up on Sunday with a banner for Blinky & email /ph Gladys our Premier the Koala Killer.

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