A peaceful gathering is planned in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 20 March from 10 till 11am to seek the support of local Tweed MP Geoff Provest (Nationals) in pushing back against the NSW coalition governments proposed koala killing bill. This is part of the #SaveOurKoalas National Day of Action.
‘Never before has it been so urgent for those living in the Northern Rivers and across NSW to come together to raise the pressing plight of our endangered NSW koalas. If we want a NSW future to include our precious and iconic koalas, we must demonstrate a strong, united and unwavering pubic presence and pressure. Everyone, regardless of age or political views has an important role to play,’ said Scott Sledge, president of the Northern Rivers Guardians (NRG).
‘As the local National Party sitting state Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest has a moral and ethical obligation to listen and act. It’s no longer enough for Mr Provest to merely meet with koala advocacy groups, do some good locally, but continue to uphold his Liberal National Party (LNP) koala killing policies. We’re tired of listening to LNP empty rhetoric pandering to colonial attitudes and we categorically reject and refute LNP claims that the newest government announcements are good for koalas. Mr Provest’s first priority must be to represent the Tweed public, not the Nationals retrograde party policies that will limit koala protection to a few select areas of the state.’
NRG are demanding, as a bare minimum:
- Urgent implementation of all 42 recommendations from the bipartisan NSW Inquiry into koala populations and habitat in NSW.
- An end to all land clearing and fragmentation on public land for urban development, agriculture and mining and an end to destructive native forestry logging as now practiced on private land.
- Fast track, fund and endorse mandatory Koala Plans of Management (KPOMs) for all NSW Councils.
- Reinstate and strengthen the State Environmental Planning Policy (Koala Habitat Protection) – SEPP 2019.
- Create the Great Koala National Park on the NSW Mid-North Coast.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive suite of meaningful and enforceable state and commonwealth koala protection and conservation policies.
‘The LNP Government’s wilful priorities for forestry and agribusiness and its support for economic gain for wealthy and powerful vested interests over the protection of koalas is blatant, shameful and reprehensible,’ said NRG event organiser Lori Scinto.
‘We’re fed up with the government’s political spin and disgraceful dishonesty. The NSW government has effectively “trashed” our environment, and our environmental protection laws and with it, democracy and the will of the public. Without urgent science-backed action, NSW koalas are on a fast-moving trajectory to extinction.’