Nats koala ‘compromise’ a massive overreach opening up more land to clearing
The NSW Government’s Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020 is not only a massive step backwards for koala protection in NSW, but also removes many other critical environmental protections on private land, according to Greens MP and Chair of the Inquiry into Koala Populations and their Habitat, Cate Faehrmann.
The bill winds back existing environmental protections and expressly prohibits the protection of any further core koala habitat from threats such as logging and land clearing on private land.
Greens MP and Environment spokesperson and Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Koala Inquiry Cate Faehrmann said:
“This bill isn’t a ‘compromise’ on the new koala policy. It takes koala protections back 25 years at a time when we need to be strengthening laws to protect koala habitat. We lost maybe 10,000 koalas in NSW in the black summer fires. If this bill passes, the Government may as well sign be signing their death warrant.”
“The updated Koala SEPP has been years in the making but now all that hard work has been scrapped to appease the National Party and the powerful timber and farming lobbies.
“We know the Koala is on track for extinction before 2050, we know that existing protections are not enough. How on earth can the Premier wind back koala protections and insist she wants to be the ‘Premier that saves the Koala’. With the introduction of this bill, she is about to become the Premier that kills the Koala.
“The bill ignores the recommendations of several inquiries and pre-empts the reviews into the land management framework and private native forestry. Part of me wonders if Gladys and Stokes even comprehend just how devastating these changes are, it’s that hard to fathom how they could have accepted this ‘compromise’, said Ms Faehrmann.
Dailan Pugh, President of the North East Forest Alliance, said:
"At a time when Koala populations are crashing, with climate change induced droughts and fires decimating survivors, and predictions of extinction in the wild by 2050, it is reprehensible that the Berejiklian Government is changing the rules to remove protection for core Koala habitat so as to allow it to be logged and cleared indiscriminately.”
"To appease the loggers these changes are designed to wind back 25 years of protection for Koalas and other threatened species on private lands, in their hour of greatest need,” he said
Bellingen Shire Greens Mayor Dominic King said:
“This is the final nail for Koalas in our region. After the extreme five year drought, the catastrophic fires that destroyed vast areas of Koala habitat, the increase in post fire logging, the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry 2020 which predicted that Koalas would be extinct by 2050, we now have a proposal that will allow the logging of core koala habitat in our shire. This effectively removes any protection afforded to core koala habitat in Bellingen despite the fact that has been endorsed by both Council and the NSW government, and baffling has not been referred in the amending bill.”
Contact: Jacob Miller - 0428 837 292
Environmental Defenders Office: Rachel Walmsley - 0415 508 251
North East Forest Alliance: Dailan Pugh - 0400 711 054
Mayor of Bellingen Shire: Dominic King - 0499 984 164