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Cusack saves the day, but koalas still at risk

The conservation movement applauds Liberal MLC ⁦⁦Catherine Cusack’s principled decision to block the National Party’s Local Land Services Amendment Bill in the upper house last night.

“Congratulations and thank you to Liberal MLC ⁦⁦Catherine Cusack for risking so much to protect koalas and push back against the the National Party’s radical land-clearing agenda,”  said Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian. [1]

“Ms Cusack’s principled stand displayed rare integrity and courage and has come at some personal cost. 

“It is far better to go back to the drawing board on koala laws than to accept the Nationals’ koala-killing bill.

“But already the decision to revert to the old koala planning arrangements shows that the battle to protect NSW koalas is far from over.

“The furore over the new planning policy is an ideological obsession and not grounded in an actual problem.

“Weakening koala protections is at odds with the government’s stated aim of doubling koala numbers by 2050.

“This is a significant setback for koala conservation, but it is better to pause now and get the settings right than to lock in koala habitat destruction for decades to come, which is what the National’s bill would have done.

“Even before the bushfires, koala’s were on track to become extinct in the wild by 2050 without urgent action. Then the fires wiped out about 30 per cent of the population in some areas. 

“The government must now come up with new laws that put the survival of the species ahead of commercial interests of big agribusiness and other property developers.”

REFERENCES

[1] Koala policy reversed after Liberal MP votes against bill, gets sacked, SMH, 20-11-20

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