"It’s extremely reassuring to see the NSW Premier and her Planning and Environment Ministers taking the findings and recommendations from the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Koalas seriously, including not giving in to an ultimatum to weaken koala habitat protection laws", Chair of the Inquiry and Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said.
The Koala Inquiry reported in June with the key finding, supported by all members of the Committee including government members, that koalas will be extinct by 2050 unless the government takes urgent action.
“The Inquiry found that the ongoing loss and fragmentation of koala habitat poses the most serious threat to koala populations and that koalas in the wild in NSW cannot be guaranteed unless the government takes further action to protect their habitat,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“It’s extremely reassuring to see that the Premier has listened to the sobering findings from the Inquiry and is beginning to act upon the recommendations which were supported by all sides of politics.
“These recommendations were provided to the Government in good faith as a roadmap to stop koalas becoming extinct in NSW. That’s why it’s so heartening to see that the Premier and her Planning and Environment Ministers have taken it out of the glovebox and started on down the road.
“This brain explosion by John Barilaro over koalas doesn’t make sense, until you remember that the National Party has been representing the interests of mining companies and developers over farmers and regional communities for a long time.
“The updated Koala SEPP doesn’t impact farmers that much. Farmers will still be able to clear koala habitat on their land under the Native Vegetation laws which have already been wound back to please the National Party.
“The Koala SEPP is designed to ensure that urban development minimises or avoids impacting on core koala habitat. But, this isn’t possible, approval will most likely be granted by the developer paying into a dodgy ‘offset’ scheme somewhere else. In fact, we don’t believe this new SEPP goes far enough.
“The last few days have confirmed that the National Party simply cannot be in charge of anything to do with our environment, water or threatened species because they are prepared to sacrifice all of it for their developer, irrigator and mining industry mates,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Contact: Ben Cronly | 0487 247 960