The Great Koala Protected Area Bill, 2021 – to be debated on 23 March 2022
The Koala’s recent “Endangered” listing three weeks ago underlines the dire situation for our beloved, iconic marsupial. But unless more protection is granted for the koala’s habitat, they will not survive. What we need is real protection. One way to protect the koala, at least on the NSW mid-North coast, would be to establish the Great Koala National Park. On 23rd March, the Greens Great Koala Protected Areas Bill 2021 is to be debated in the NSW Upper House. To make this great vision become reality, we need to call you MP’s in support of the bill, asking them to also support it.
Here are some talking points which should help you navigate through the conversation:
- I am calling to urge you to please support the Great Koala Protected Areas Bill.
- Get an overview over the issue, check out: https://blinky.fyi/
- The 2020 NSW parliamentary inquiry found that without serious intervention, Koalas could become extinct in this state by 2050.
- The future of the Koala is of great concern to many people in NSW, who would like to see governments protect them in the wild for future generations.
- Between 1990 and 2010 Koala numbers dropped by a third.
- The 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires killed at least 5,000 koalas and burned 28% of their habitat in northern New South Wales and 21% in southern New South Wales.
- The repeal of the Native Vegetation Act has resulted in a rapid loss of core koala habitat with the NSW State of the Environment Report 2021 declaring a threefold increase in land clearing over the past decade.
- Habitat loss is the key threat to the survival of the koala and all experts agree that the key intervention needed is habitat protection.
- Industrial logging of public native forests has increased in intensity and frequency over decades, including in koala habitat.
- Large scale clear-felling within 140,000 hectares of forest land called an Intensive Harvesting Zone is happening along the north coast. 33% of this new zone is mapped by NSW Government as Koala Hubs.
- Logging of koala habitation proceeds based on pre-bushfire plans and approvals despite profound changes to the landscape.
- The NSW government has watered down laws protecting the koala on private and public land, despite knowing koala numbers are crashing.
- Funding koala hospitals and planting trees whilst worthwhile, does not address the core problem – clearing and logging of koala habitat.
- 20% of mid-north coast koalas live in state forests and 76 percent of identified Koala Hubs in the state are in the northeast of NSW.
- Koalas in NSW, Queensland and Canberra have now been listed as endangered due to the government’s failure to halt their ongoing decline. Only protecting known koala habitat will stop this impending disaster and the GKNP proposal offers a key solution for NSW.
- The Great Koala National Park proposal (the subject of the Great Koala Protected Area Bill), would add 175,000 hectares of native state forest (this does not include plantations or private land) to existing protected areas to form a 315,000 hectare reserve in the Coffs Coast region.
- A Great Koala National Park would deliver jobs, recreational and tourism opportunities, increased biodiversity, carbon storage and clean water.
- The Great Koala National Park proposal would deliver 9,000+ jobs for the Coffs Coast and generate $2.8 billion in value for the nation according to an analysis of the proposal by the University of Newcastle.
- The proposal contains 44% of all Koala Hubs in State Forests in New South Wales making a substantial contribution to ensuring the koala’s long-term survival in the state.
- Native Forest logging in NSW makes an annual loss and is heavily subsidised by the government whereas the plantation sector is thriving and profitable.
- We believe that all of Australia's wood needs can be met by pre-existing plantations.
- The NSW Government has a target to double the number of koalas in the state by 2050. This will not be possible without protecting their habitat and the Great Koala National Park will ensure that occurs.
Finish by reiterating your request that the MP support the Bill
Please target these MPs with your calls:
Buttigieg, Mark MLC Australian Labor Party Phone 02 9230 2822
D'Adam, Anthony MLC Australian Labor Party Phone (02) 9230 2260
Donnelly, Greg MLC Australian Labor Party Phone (02) 9230 2280
Field, Justin MLC Independent member Phone (02) 9230 3335
Graham, John MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2430
Houssos, Courtney MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2694
Hurst, Emma MLC Animal Justice Party member Phone 02 9230 3462
Jackson, Rose MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 3789
Mookhey, Daniel MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2736
Moriarty, Tara MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2393
Moselmane, Shaoquett MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2526
Nile, Fred MLC Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) member Phone (02) 9230 2478
Pearson, Mark MLC Animal Justice Party member Phone (02) 9230 2445
Primrose, Peter MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02 9230 2686
Searle, Adam MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2160
Secord, Walt MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2146
Sharpe, Penny MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2741
Veitch, Mick MLC Australian Labor Party member Phone (02) 9230 2714