4 February 2019

National parks additions have slowed to a trickle under the Coalition while koala protections have been slashed

The new national park south of Sydney announced by Premier Berejiklian today is welcome but does not compensate for the Coalition’s terrible record on park creation and koala conservation.

The annual rate of additions to the state’s National Parks Estate has slumped 92% since the coalition came to office in NSW in 2011. [1]

According to analysis by the NSW National Parks Association, the annual average area reserved before the Coalition came to power in March 2011 was 132,000ha. Since then the annual rate has been slashed to 10,675ha a year.

Meanwhile, the government has refused to rule out supporting a National Park Private Members Bill to degazette the Murray Valley National Park and open its river Red Gum Forests to logging. [2]

“We always welcome additions to the reserve system, but the truth is the Berejiklian government has a terrible record in this area and has actually legalized the destruction of koala habitat on a scale not seen for a generation,” Ms Smolski said. 

“It will take more than the protection of a few thousand hectares of koala forest in the southern highlands to save the species from extinction.

“It’ll also take more to change the government’s record as possibly the worst government for nature in modern times.

“If the Premier is genuine about getting the koala off the extinction waiting list, she must rule out deforestation of koala habitat across the state.

“Instead, her government legalized the deforestation of 99% of koala habitat on private land, scrapped the Threatened Species Conservation Act, and gave landholders open slather to bulldoze bushland across the state.” [3]

See the Nature Conservation Council’s full policy position here.

REFERENCES

[1] The NSW National Parks Establishment Plan 2008 ten years on

[2] Nationals MP pushes to allow logging of huge river red gum forest

[3] Environment Minister knew 99% of koala habitat would be exposed to land clearing

Tags

Forests and wildlife

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