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Homeless and harassed – koala Ella rescued six times in 12 months

The heartbreaking story of koala Ella in today’s Sydney Morning Herald is a stark demonstration of the failure of the NSW Government’s environment laws. [1] 

“Koala Ella’s plight is shocking but sadly it is not an isolated incident — it’s happening right across NSW,” Nature Conservation Council Acting Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said.   

“Wildlife is being constantly harassed and left homeless by developers who continue to bulldoze and chainsaw wildlife habitat with the NSW Government’s blessing. 

“Deforestation rates have doubled since 2016 when the government relaxed controls on land clearing, and that shows no sign of slowing. 

“The government’s own most recent deforestation data shows about 54,500 hectares of native vegetation were destroyed in just one year. [2] 

“Meanwhile, the government has still not renewed it’s out-of-date koala strategy or released new land-clearing and forestry regulations that are supposed to protect koalas.” 

The Nature Conservation Council calls on the government to ensure the new NSW Koala Strategy: 

  1. Strengthens koala protections in key laws and codes, including the Biodiversity Conservation Act, the Local Land Services Act, the Private Native Forestry codes and the 2021 Koala Habitat Protection SEPP;  
  2. Declares the 175,000ha Great Koala National Park and the 7,000ha Sandy Creek Koala Park on North Coast and new koala national parks for southwestern and western Sydney; and   
  3. Protects koala habitat from intensified logging under weakened forestry regulations (the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval).    

References 

[1] Ella the koala was rescued six times in a year. She’s not the only one, SMH, 1-12-21 

[2]Land cover change reporting, DPIE, June 2021  

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