The Government’s announcement about the process for creating the Great Koala National Park has revealed that 58% of the reported koala population within the area of the proposed park will not be protected from logging operations and that the plan to create the Park has been delayed until 2025. The Government today announced it will informally protect only 5% of the Great Koala National Park footprint in the meantime, leaving some of the most important koala habitat forests vulnerable to logging for the next 18 months.
Greens MP and spokesperson for the environment Sue Higginson said “The Government’s announcement today needs to be called out for what it really is - a gift to the timber industry at the cost of continuing the koala extinction logging and an enormous delay in the delivery of the promised Great Koala National Park.
“The informal protection for koala hubs and announcement of advisory groups pales in comparison to the revelation that 58% of critical koala habitat in the proposed Great Koala National Park will still be subject to logging plans and that the park won’t be created until 2025 at the earliest.
“National Parks are significant assets of ecological value because of the integrity that these areas have and for their contribution to biodiversity and overall environmental health. It is very concerning that just 5% of this proposed new National Park will be protected by this announcement today and that 58% of endangered koala habitat will still be available for logging operations.
“The forests that will form the Great Koala National Park will continue to be logged while the Government and advisory groups sort out the details of the plan. Logging is likely to continue throughout the area of the Great Koala National Park through to 2025 due to the long reporting timeline that the Government has set for itself. We should have a plan for the Great Koala National Park to be created at the start of 2024 at the latest.
“The Government needs to do the work now, to begin the transition of the public native forest industry before it’s too late for koalas and too late for the other precious forest dependent species.
For media contact call Sue Higginson 0428 227 363