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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

NEFA: National Koala Recovery Plan doomed to fail

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The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) say that the recently released Commonwealth Government Draft Koala Recovery Plan is doomed to fail as it’s a plan that doesn’t save the trees where the koalas are living.

NEFA spokesperson Susie Russell says that plan is a complete dud. ‘The Plan doesn’t propose to stop the broadscale land-clearing that is wiping out Koala habitat. It doesn’t stop the bulldozers from clearing koala colonies for development. It doesn’t stop the logging of Koala homes.

Ms Russell says it just more years of words, reports, monitoring and feel-good funding will not halt the decline of our remaining Koala populations. ‘We already know that many were wiped out during the Black Summer bushfires in 2019/20. Continuing to take their trees while studying them is a crime against the future.

Plan objective is lofty

Ms Russell says the Plan objective is lofty. ‘The goal of the recovery plan is to reverse the trend of decline in population size of the listed Koala, by having resilient, connected, and genetically healthy meta-populations across its range, and to increase the extent, quality and connectivity of habitat occupied.

‘But all the “research, mapping, monitoring, data collation and analysis, information dissemination, and community capacity building” in the world won’t save the koala from extinction unless its habitat is protected.

‘The Recovery Plan briefly mentions the need to “increase the area of protected priority Koala habitat to prevent further habitat loss and fragmentation, and to maintain population viability”. This is code for purchasing blocks of land with koala habitat. This will in no way halt further habitat loss and fragmentation, except perhaps on those particular blocks.

Money could buy out the logging industry

Ms Russell says the NSW Government has set aside money to buy blocks of land that have koala habitat. ‘That money could buy out the logging industry from hundreds of thousands of hectares of already publicly owned land, including land identified as home to two of the most significant meta-populations of koalas on the north coast of NSW.

‘That land was identified years ago and The Great Koala National Park was proposed on that basis. Instead of protecting those known populations, both the NSW and Commonwealth Governments continue to oversee the destruction of their homes by the truckload.

Plan that doesn’t protect the places where koalas live is a sham

‘It’s time to get real. Any Strategy or Recovery Plan that doesn’t protect the places where koalas are actually living is a sham.

Ms Russell says the climate and biodiversity crises demand that our governments stop pussy-footing around and take real and genuine action now to stop the destruction. ‘The Plan needs to go back to the drawing board until it comes back with concrete measures to stop the logging and land clearing in koala habitat.’

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  1. The Koala needs a Koala Protection Act Australia wide. Until legislation that is fit for purpose we will continue to see the decline of the species. Please support the Australian Koala Foundation in our endeavours to have that legislation passed in the federal parliament.
    Deborah Tabart OAM
    Chair, Australian Koala Foundation

    • We need the will, someone has to get these cattle and sheep farmers on board, they need to let go of their rein of terror, the government must financially support them to move from cattle to hemp, reforesting like 70% of the farm, letting the youth do it and they can camp/live there and have fun, grow hemp on the rest. The government must get behind this, and of course indigenous people must be part of it and given priority, so they can get back onto the land. Hemp can drastically reduce logging.

  2. Great article Susie and I couldn’t have said it better myself . What a disgraceful /arrogant & heartless Govt we have. Problem is citizens might buy the crap the govt is reporting in the conservative media (Thanks Murdoch). Ms Tabart is also so spot on, without a Koala Protection Act Federally, that actually has teeth , Koalas will continue to decline sadly. Most Koalas are now forced to live on private land, so Gladys & her partner in Eco crime Barilaro have guaranteed that farmers & the loggers have won PROTECTION & not our precious Koalas, that have been sold out. I find this heartbreaking beyond words & I like many others have sleepless nights & probably PTSD. OH Yeah ! Dailan we LOVE YOU signed Blinky Bill.

    • Theyre fixated with logging, most of them eat meat, arent relevant now, cant discuss how they mislead the public, or what the ket threats are. I told them all pre fires that fire was the imminent threat, early 2019, I told AJP over and over as they used the flawed corrupt greens policy, which was purely about the GKNP, not reforestation and transforming farming. NEFA are neoliberals, prove me wrong, bet you cant ha ha, theyre all pro meat eating and capitalistic tourism, theyre national party aligned but they wont admit it. Never heard any of these people say we need to remove the monetary system, we dont need money, wheres the progressive people hey?

  3. Do you think a failure of duty of care class action lawsuit against the state or federal government is worth considering? Teenagers seem to have some success with this approach regarding the federal government’s lack of action to address climate change. After all, the koala is a national icon and surely governments have a duty of care to protect them for future generations?https://7ampodcast.com.au/episodes/the-judgement-that-changed-climate-law-in-australia


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